Two L.A. restaurants, Red O and Bastide, have lost their chefs, though neither was an entirely unforeseeable exodus. Red O, the haute Mexican scene slammed by Jonathan Gold as "basically a consulting gig for Bayless," has lost Michael Brown, the executive chef we were supposed to depend on when the real chef was nowhere to be found. According to D Magazine, Brown has been "robbed" by Tristan Simon, owner of Dallas's Alma, where Brown will oversee that restaurant's "elevated regional Mexican cuisine." Were the slams from L.A.'s true Mexican gourmands too much to take for the chef, who comes tatted with Dia de los Muertos calaveras? Quizás, quizás, quizás. And what happened with the umpteenth chef to come and go at Bastide?
Currently, details are scarce, but Feast caught a tweet this morning from chef Joseph Mahon who launched his own menu with the restaurant's reopening nearly one year ago. Mahon says, "I'm no longer cooking at @bastidela. Somebody will be executing my menu. Thank u everyone for supporting me during my tenure:) aka Bastide 5.0." On the heels of Brad A. Johnson labeling Bastide "L.A.'s original pop-up," the reference seems ripe, no less considering the chefs who have come and gone from Joe Pytka's place--Alain Giraud, Ludo, Walter Manzke, and Paul Shoemaker (and maybe, briefly Jerome Voltat).
Mahon was well-regarded (and had another of our favorite fried chickens in town), even turning around S. Irene Virbila's opinion of the morph-on-a-whim restaurant. Still, considering the success former Pytka subjects have enjoyed after leaving the restaurant, there is hardly better culinary company to keep than with the ex-chefs of Bastide.