Faith & Flower Emulates 1920s in L.A.
Coastal Luxury Management (CLM) continues to make its mark on California’s culinary scene with Faith & Flower, the group’s first Southern California brick-and-mortar venture, slated to debut in early spring 2014. Executive Chef Michael Hung, formerly of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred La Folie, will oversee all culinary operations.
Michael Lay (Restaurant 1833, Rose.Rabbit.Lie.) helms the bar program as lead mixologist, and Ben Spungin (Bernardus Lodge) serves as executive pastry chef. Designed by AvroKO, the South Park establishment will pay homage to the two major renaissance periods—the 1920s and modern day—that have fundamentally shaped the Downtown Los Angeles community. The name celebrates the location: flower refers to the street on which the restaurant lies today, and faith for the street’s alleged name during the early 1920s.
CLM co-founders David Alan Bernahl II and Robert Weakley will join forces with influential Los Angeles restaurateur Stephane Bombet of Bombet Hospitality Group to bring Faith & Flower to Los Angeles. Together, these powerhouses look to contribute significantly to L.A.’s dining scene, as Coastal Luxury Management continues to expand its hospitality portfolio with its first venture in Los Angeles as CLM.
With more than 23 years of expertise in the hospitality industry, and as a co-founding partner of Picca (“Best New Restaurant in America,” GQ, March 2012), Mo-Chica, and Paiche (“Best New Restaurant,” Esquire, November 2013), Bombet has earned national acclaim based on his savvy business acumen and forward-thinking approach. Bombet will be involved in all aspects of the launch and ongoing operation of Faith & Flower, the first of many potential future collaborations.
Drawn to the area’s creative spirit and burgeoning food scene, hospitality entrepreneurs David Alan Bernahl II and Robert Weakley have had their eye on downtown Los Angeles since the inaugural Los Angeles Food & Wine in 2011. “There’s no doubt that downtown Los Angeles is one of the most flourishing culinary destinations in California,” says co-founder and creator David Bernahl. “Since long before we launched the first annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, we were watching this amazing neighborhood evolve dramatically. When this restaurant space opened up, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to become a part of this incredible dining scene and community of people.”
The partners are most excited about introducing their newest find, executive chef Michael Hung.
“After 10 years with legends like Traci de Jardins and Roland Passot, we believe that Michael is primed to showcase his talents in a grand way. We couldn’t be more excited about the dishes he is creating in the kitchen,” Bombet says.
Inspired by a global influence of flavors and techniques, complemented by the use of a wood-fired oven and pristine raw bar, Executive Chef Michael Hung has designed a menu redefining Californian rustic cuisine. While the menu will continually change with attention to Los Angeles’ ample bounty of seasonal offerings, dishes upon opening are expected to include San Diego Halibut Carpaccio with pomelo and ruby grapefruit, herbed crème fraiche, and brioche croutons; a Chinese chili-soybean Oxtail Agnolotti glazed in bone marrow butter, finished with a tangerine conserva; Duck Liver Mousse Tarts with grenadine-candied onion; and a salad of Roasted Young Carrots and Brassicas with smoked Greek yogurt, mustard seed crackers, and sherry-shallot vinaigrette.
The cocktail program celebrates the drinking culture spanning the Gilded Age and Roaring Twenties in downtown Los Angeles and is split into two parts. The first will feature classic libations from 1870-1930, experienced throughout the neighborhood’s vast speakeasies of the time. The second will be original recipes that represent a mix of modern and classic techniques.
These cocktails will celebrate historic fin de siècle in the Downtown corridor and feature long-forgotten ingredients such as Capillaire Syrup prepared with the leaves of the Maiddenhair Fern.
Signature drinks will include the English Milk Punch, inspired by Jerry Thomas’ “How To Mix Drinks” from 1862, composed of cognac, bourbon, Jamaican rums, absinthe, pineapple, spices, and milk clarification; Olvera with mezcal, zirbenz stone pine, royal combier, cherry heering, orange bitters, and lapsang souchong vapor; and the Stormy Phosphate with Lost Spirits Navy rum, lime gum syrup, acid phosphate, and ginger beer. Intricately etched crystal glassware imported solely for the restaurant, unique table-side touches, an intermezzo cart, house-made bitters and tonic, and fresh brewed ginger beer will complete the beverage experience.
AvroKO brings its design expertise to the project, with past successes including the acclaimed design at Beauty & Essex in NYC, the W Moscow, Rose.Rabbit.Lie. at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Quality Meats, The Stanton Social in New York, and Lavo in Las Vegas.
Design elements will reflect the intersection of modernity and antiquity, with touches that include a partition wall composed of distressed doors collected from the 1920s, a large scale handmade sunburst wall installation, and an entire wall mural by highly acclaimed local street artist Robert Vargas.
A palate of rustic earth-tones are off-set by glamorous handcrafted chandelier lighting and complements the 140 plush leather and textured seats both inside and out on the restaurant’s hedge-lined secluded patio. “We want to create a space where friends, family, and neighbors would feel welcome while retaining an elevated atmosphere,” partner Robert Weakley says. “Faith & Flower is a place for a casual snack and a cocktail, or if you choose, a feast with friends, and its design features emphasize the artistry of the restaurant itself.”
Faith & Flower is located at 705 W. 9th St. in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.