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The Larchmont's New Chef Brings Farm-To-Table French Cuisine

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Inside the Larchmont (Photo courtesy of the Larchmont)
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Over at the century-old Craftsman that houses The Larchmont, there's a new executive chef from the renowned French Laundry helming this restaurant's menu—and he's bringing something unique to the table.

Kevin Kathman has trekked to different parts of the world—including some of the top-tier restaurants in New York, England and France—to culminate the culinary experience he has now. Though it's from his upbringing in Cold Springs, Minnesota where he first experienced seasonal farm-to-table food. His menu at the Larchmont reflects all of his experiences: it's French food with European and Californian influences. It's coupled with gorgeous plating fit to be framed and ingredients with different textures and temperatures. He's really into what goes into his food, too, as he has relationships with local ranchers, farmers and foragers. So, expect the menu to change with the seasons.

We recently visited the Larchmont, a spot that's been open since 2013, for dinner. Nearly all of the decor is in a shade of white inside the quaint Craftsman house, including the fireplace, marble counters, subway-tiled walls and tablecloths. It feels like you're inside a casual yet upscale beachside home—and that's also reflected in the dishes, which are elegant yet accessible.

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Smoked sturgeon at the Larchmont (Photo courtesy of the Larchmont)
One of the most eye-catching plates the Larchmont has is the smoked sturgeon. Chunks of fish are pan-seared to a crispy brown and each topped with a dollop of caviar. Quartered eggs are interspersed between the fish and sprigs of fennel, and that all sits on a narrow river of potato salad. Everything about this dish tastes fresh with a combination of complex flavors.

Another memorable dish is the venison chop. Kathman, not shy to use foie gras in his menu, tops the venison with the fatty duck liver, along with chanterelle mushrooms, fingerling potatoes and pearl onions. It's a playful dish where everything is bite-sized and drizzled with a flavorful reduction sauce.

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Charred baby octopus salad (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
We also enjoyed the charred baby octopus salad, which is one of the Larchmont's most colorful dishes. The fresh and hearty portions of octopus is complemented by the wild arugula, tomato varieties and harissa aioli. It's a light dish that's perfect as a starter.

The Larchmont is located at 5750 Melrose Avenue, Larchmont Village, (323) 464-4277. Appetizers run from $9 to $18, dinner items from $18 to $42, desserts at $9, and wine, beer and cocktails from $6 to $17.

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Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the appetizer and dinner prices. It's since been updated to reflect the correct prices. LAist regrets this error.