Following L.A.'s recent acquisitions of NorCal chefs Charlie Parker and Jeremy Fox, and while all eyes are on Chris Cosentino's opening of Pigg in Downtown L.A., we learn that another one of San Francisco's chefs has flown south this winter. Max DiMare, who pulled a triple star from critic Michael Bauer at Oakland's Wood Tavern, is currently working to open Abigaile in Hermosa Beach with local owner Jed Sanford.
Planned to debut on February 3rd, we initially welcomed news of Abigaile's arrival, if nothing more than for the chance to holler "hee-haw!" at yesterday's closing of Western-themed meat market Union Cattle Co., owned by Sanford and his brother, Allen. Hermosa Beach Patch clues us in to the legacy of the 1924-established building, before the mechanical bull, during which it variously served as a Baptist Church and later, a rehearsal space for Black Flag and Redd Kross, which Sanford plans to fully
Sanford plans to restore the building with help from Gjelina designers Bishop-Pass, keeping a bit of the history intact for a locally-lead New American brasserie serving daily-changing menus of Cali cuisine with western European touches, served at communal tables and touting relationships with state farmers and sustainable vendors.
DiMare, who already took to some big winter surf in the South Bay and thought he was going to die, tells the paper, "My family is from Sicily, and that is reflected in my menu - youll see some meatballs, osso bucco, gnocchi, some pasta starters...I make my own charcuterie, pates, rillettes, and I'm going to start making my own dry-cured salamis." One encouraging development finds Sanford tapping Brian Brewer from Stone Brewery in an attempt to revive the forgone tanks at Ein Stein's Brewery, which was briefly housed here, with the hopes of having Abigaille's first brews available at opening.
In the past year, The South Bay has pulled together a more vital dining scene, with stand-outs restaurants like M.B. Post and great cooking, if not exactly everyone's favorite scene, at The Strand House. It sounds like more progress is being made around here as the current craze for charcuterie and craft beer are wading their way into Hermosa's waters, along with L.A.'s developing passion for plundering Bay Area talent.
Abigaile, 1301 Manhattan Ave.
Hermosa Beach. 310-798-8227.
Update: Wood Tavern Promotes Yang Ping as DiMare Departs [GS]