Seeing Stars

BY Krista Simmons | November 19, 2018 | Feature Features National

With Hollywood ties and Michelin roots, all eyes are on Simone.
Simone's private dining room

Jessica Largey’s reputation precedes her. The chef is most widely associated with being the chef de cuisine under David Kinch at Manresa, the Los Gatos restaurant known for its thoughtful exploration of seasonal produce which earned two Michelin stars in 2006, and subsequently upgraded to three in 2015. Largey was named the rising star chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2015, and has also done stints at notable restaurants such as Providence, Bastide and The Fat Duck. This, among other reasons, is why film director Joe Russo—known for his work in the Marvel-verse as well as on popular series Community and Arrested Development—and Bruno Bagbeni, who also financed the now-closed Bastide, were eager to back Largey and the project at Simone.

Stakes for Largey and both investors are high, considering the volume of competition in DTLA’s Arts District. There’s perhaps no hotter neighborhood in Los Angeles right now, especially when it comes to culinary concepts. Within an earshot of Simone, you’ll find heavy hitters like Bavel, Everson Royce Bar, Manuela, Bestia and Rossoblu. And in the not-so-distant future, Soho House will open.

But there’s no one better suited to take it on than the level-headed Largey. Her poised and measured persona is evident as she approaches the table to present a behemoth of a ribeye accompanied by a cornucopia of globally inspired pickles, salads and sauces that could best be described as California banchan. Watching her team work behind the glass walls of the open kitchen, there is a composure and aesthetic not too dissimilar from what you might find at the newly redesigned The French Laundry in Yountville.

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