Towne Food & Drink Opens in Downtown L.A.
Towne opens its doors this summer in Los Angeles on the corner of 9th and Flower Streets, showcasing a stunning, 7,000 square foot custom designed space by Mark Zeff.
The restaurant, owned by Armen Shirvanian of the beloved Mi Piace in Pasadena, will feature inventive, New American cuisine, a whimsical take on all-American desserts, and playful, modern cocktails under one roof.
Executed by a team comprised of Chef Eric Hara of davidburke & donatella, The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel, and Pier 9 in New York, Chef Ryan Morrison, previously Director of Culinary Development for Scott Conant, Pastry Chef Tamara Davis of Aquavit, Boule, and Bottega Louie, and Beverage Director Jason Bran of The Roger Room, Towne will be the ultimate gathering place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails.
The inviting space will be ideal for guests stopping by anytime, whether for coffee and pastries on their way to work, a leisurely midafternoon meal with friends, or dinner and late-night drinks.
Towne’s chefs Hara, an award-winning, distinguished New York culinary maven, and Morrison, opening chef of Scarpetta in Toronto, New York, and Beverly Hills, have crossed paths multiple times throughout their careers in notable kitchens, starting in Lake Louise, Canada, and then moving to New York together to work at Chez Josephine and davidburke & donatella. Towne marks their first collaboration on a project from the ground up.
Chefs Hara and Morrison will utilize the wood burning oven and grill for both lunch and dinner, and will be preparing a selection of whole fish, flat breads, pastas, roasts, and more.
“Our menus are a reflection of our shared culinary background,” says Hara. “We’re making everything we can in-house, from yogurt to ketchup, to our jams and jellies, to our signature Lobster Smokies wrapped in housemade puff pastry. Ryan and I have both worked with a wide assortment of cuisines, and we are infusing several different techniques into our menu.”
The dinner menu offers snacks including Pastrami Pork Belly Sliders with Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, and housemade 1000 Island; Ceviche of Razor Clam with Cilantro, Mint, Piquillo Pepper, and Basil Oil; and Bone Marrow Matzo Ball Soup with Shitakes and Beef Consommé.
Flat breads are all made in the wood-burning oven and include Artichoke with Sheepsmilk Ricotta, Egg, and Bacon, as well as housemade pastas including Cavatelli with Lobster and Oven Dried Tomatoes.
Entrées include wood-grilled prime dry aged meats, such as Crispy Pork Shank with Sweet and Sour Cabbage; and Beef Cheek Pot Roast with mini Popovers; and whole-roasted fishes and composed dishes like Skate Milanese with Cauliflower, Wilted Spinach, and Hazelnuts.
Sides include Brussels Sprouts with Tamarind and Apples, and Roasted Corn on the Cob with Chorizo Butter and Feta.
Lunch features the same selection as dinner, with the addition of Salads & Sandwiches including the Salmon Cubano with smoked and baked Salmon and Gruyere Cheese; Ground Brisket Burger with Onion Marmalade and Tallegio on a Pretzel Bun; Prawn, Arugula, Grapefruit, and Avocado Salad; and more.
Chef Tamara Davis, most recently of Bottega Louie, designed the pastry and retail programs at Towne. Featuring a playful twist on American classics, Davis’ menu will include Rum Praline Ice Cream Sandwiches; Peanut Butter Candy Bars; Ice Cream and Sorbet Push Pops in flavors such as Ginger Caramel and Raspberry Thyme; and Bagged Donuts.
Retail bakery items, which are also available for guests dining in, include an assortment of Housemade Twinkies, and Cupcakes and Macaroons in a variety of flavors, including Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Cherry Pie. For a distinctive touch, all to-go bakery orders will be packaged in small branded French-style hat boxes.
Towne’s customized drink menu is created by Los Angeles-based bartender Jason Bran. A self-described “proponent of sophistication and responsibility,” Bran brings his high-quality cocktail crafting expertise to the patrons of Towne. The menu will feature an emphasis on classic American cocktails and spirits, and playful libations with nostalgic childhood ingredients and flavors.
Bran comes to Towne with 10 years of experience in high volume, upscale cocktail bars, and has become nationally recognized as one of the industry’s best barmen. His creations will push the envelope, perfectly complementing the menu designed by Hara and Morrison. Towne will also feature carefully selected wines from celebrated United States vineyards, as well as boutique and handcrafted beers from around the county.
Located on the ground floor of the Watermarke Tower in downtown Los Angeles, Towne’s “urban chic” feel is the work of architect Mark Zeff. He partitioned the 7,000 square-foot space into several intimate areas giving each room its own distinct feel. From the open-air terrace to the main dining room and coffee bar, each part of Towne encourages patrons to experience the full range of dining atmospheres.
Chosen by Shirvanian for his urban design sensibility, Zeff carefully selected each custom-designed lighting fixture, wall texture, and piece of furniture to create a space that is simultaneously approachable, yet sophisticated. Translucent draperies demarcate the private dining room, while the lounge is outlined in wood-paneling, tiled off-white columns, and a brown leather ceiling.
In the modern, red-and-white dining room, scene-stealing chandeliers commingle effortlessly with modern wall-mounted lamps. Towne’s casual, yet energized, ambiance extends outdoors to the wood-backed dining chairs on the terrace, which offers a touch of elegance with the metropolis as its backdrop.
Towne is located at 705 W. 9th St. in Downtown Los Angeles at the corner of 9th and Flower and will open in summer 2012. The restaurant and lounge will initially be open for lunch and dinner daily, with breakfast service to follow shortly thereafter.