Some of New York’s biggest names have spent 2018 and 2019 infiltrating the L.A. dining scene, but let’s not forget our California neighbors to the north—after all, tomorrow, one of San Francisco’s top chefs finally launches her first Los Angeles concept.
Situated right on the ROW DTLA’s main thoroughfare—and catty-corner from Tartine Manufactory, also from big San Francisco names—Michelin-starred chef Melissa Perello’s M.Georgina arrives in the form of a gleaming white facade and patio and, inside, an industrial-chic dining room and bar (it is the Arts District) where you’ll be able to taste some of the lauded chef’s live-fire cooking.
Consider the dinner-only concept a kind of extension of Frances and Octavia, Perello’s SF restaurants, which embody California cuisine through the likes of roasted asparagus soup with pickled strawberry, and duck liver mousse with toasted cornbread and fennel pollen.
At M.Georgina, named for the chef’s grandmother, the menu shifts its focus to Southern California sourcing and adds a wood-burning oven to the mix for the first time, so that Perello’s “approachable-yet-refined” California cooking gains a bit of smoke and L.A. flair.
The Aqua and Charles Nob Hill vet is offering a handful of seafood dishes (think: caviar with hush puppies; baked surf clam diavolo with Calabrian-chili bechamel; spiny lobster with pickled garlic scapes), plus heartier fare such as lamb sausage with blistered peppers; farro mafaldine with ricotta salata; and pork loin with whole-grain mustard.
The menu, still receiving its final tweaks, also sports intriguing, globally-minded takes: grilled squid ink pita with trout roe, pickles and a smoked oyster aioli, and a chard spin on saag with house-made feta, to name a few.
Augment with a glass or two from a wine list that’s all about small-production labels—not to mention a bite or two from the bread and dessert programs, which include sourdough ice cream—and you should have a fairly good idea of what M.Georgina is all about.
Sometime in 2020, Perello will launch a dedicated lunch space next door called The Slip where grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and pastries are all on the menu.