The Jedi Returns To L.A.: Jonathan Waxman Looking For Restaurant Space

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

First we got the return of Thomas Keller, then Morimoto announced plans to descend on our city, shortly before a gaggle of San Franciscans (and one New Yorker) arrived to take over Santa Monica Place, and last week Scott Conant opened Scarpetta across from Bouchon. Just yesterday, the same day that a bunch of bohemian bistro owners from Manhattan opened Eveleigh, we heard of one more chef rubbing his hands together while eying the Western front. Zagat shares the news that Jonathan "Obi-Wan" Waxman could be opening his own restaurant in Los Angeles. Which great L.A. chef has the scoop?

The rumor was spilled by none other than cross-coast restaurateur Michael McCarty, who once had Waxman helping him create his famous California cuisine in the kitchens at Michael's. Waxman, who owns NYC's popular Barbuto, was also the chef at Chez Panisse, and apparently he misses his friends out here, including all those fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The chef will be at L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade this Sunday, so expect him to be bombarded with questions as to where he's looking when he's not cooking. Early, obvious prediction: Barbuto II, somewhere west of LaCienega.

Coming Soon: La Seine, Vü and More [Zagat Buzz]