In 2024, the Washington D.C. area will be pressing a major culinary stamp on Los Angeles. Operators of the Michelin-starred Bresca and two-Michelin-starred Jônt, Hive Hospitality, is reportedly set to open two new bistros inside the SLC Hotel in Beverly Hills. The project will take over a portion of the formerly impressive tasting counter, Somni, as well as the erstwhile Bazar space. Where Somni previously flourished, Hive Hospitality will open a West Coast outlet of Jônt featuring a 20-plus course tasting menu similar to its D.C. counterpart. The menu looks to infuse the group’s trademark hospitality with delectable Japanese seafood and California’s extraordinary produce. The restaurant to inhabit the former Bazaar space is yet to be named but will be the first of the two to open in spring 2024.
The unnamed restaurant will foster the atmosphere of a country farmhouse and accommodate up to 50 patrons at a time. The two restaurants will showcase a high level of cooking while crafting an amicable, everyday supper space that encapsulates L.A.’s easy-going sensibility. Shareable larger dishes such as turbot farci vin jaune (fish stuffed with yellow wine sauce) and roasted stuffed chickens will be featured on an a la carte menu, which will hold some similarities to D.C.’s Bresca when it first opened in 2017. Regarding Jônt, which will open in the summer of 2024, Hive Hospitality looks to see its flagship tasting menu adorned with only the highest accolades.
According to the culinary director and managing partner of Hive Hospitality, Brendan Mahon, the group would love to mirror the accomplishments of such eateries as Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York City and French Laundry in California by achieving a three-Michelin-starred restaurant on each coast of the United States. The bold statement is perhaps not so outlandish, however, when taking the thoughtful resourcing of Jônt at the SLS into account and adding his vision, ambition, and L.A.’s current lack of three-Michelin-starred restaurants.
Jônt looks to create its own uniquely choreographed dining experience. It begins with welcoming cocktails in a separate area before diners are led to the main dining room to enjoy between 22 and 25 dishes. The main dining starts with snacks, taking diners through their meal before desserts are served in a separate parlor. There will also be a patio designated for optional drinks and cigars.
Co-founder and executive chef Ryan Ratino spoke on what drew him to California, saying the state is “the bounty, the growing seasons, the quality of produce, the citrus,” he continued, “It’s just endless with amazing ingredients.” Ratino added that he met various chefs and peers in the community who helped foster a comfortable feeling and a mutual approach to state-of-the-art, high-end cooking. Additionally, the executive chef spoke on Michael Cimarusti’s two-Michelin-starred Providence. He said, “It’s an institution. It’s something that’s weathered it all, and the new renovation looks incredible.” Regarding the SLS, they cut ties with José Andrés Group (JAG), which operated Somni and Bazaar in 2021. According to a statement by JAG last year, Somni looks forward to reopening as a standalone restaurant in West Hollywood, but no further details are available at this time.