Today, Eater breaks the news that David Reiss, owner of Sunny Spot, A-Frame, The Brig, and Alibi Room, is opening a new Hollywood restaurant called Little Fork in the former Shin BBQ space, with a design by Sean Knibb of A-Frame and cocktails by Brian Butler. Reiss's cohort, restaurant consultant Paul Pruitt, confirms Little Fork is indeed due for Wilcox Avenue, with the intention to start serving before the holidays, "at the earliest by mid-December."
The concept, he says, originally sprung from a desire to fill the West Coast void of solid Belgian and Scandinavian options, which eventually lead the team's mind to Montreal and with the hiring of Travi, who was raised outside of Boston, to a restaurant inspired by Atlantic Northeast seafood as it's served from New England to Montreal. Of the space, Pruitt forsees about 120 seats, with about 20-25 of those outside, and tells Grub Street, "We like that it's right in the middle of all the madness, but on a fairly quiet corner." And what of Reiss's plans on Abbot Kinney?
As first reported here in May, Reiss took over the lease at Capri on Abbot-Kinney, where the pop-ups Wolf in Sheep's Clothing and AK Supper Club, had their roots. Currently, a concept is taking shape for a Reiss restaurant that will also be seafood-driven, providing a style of cooking that is "surprisingly not that strongly represented in L.A., particularly on the Westside."
To execute the evolving vision at this currently nameless Venice project, Reiss' team tested eight or nine chefs, eventually landing on Greg Daniels, formerly the exec sous chef at New York's Perry Street (not to be confused with Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub). Daniels was due for a job at Jean Georges on Central Park West, instead leaning to the West Coast to join his girlfriend who accepted a job in L.A. "He's young, hungry, super-talented, with just an incredible work ethic, just a solid guy with great food," Pruitt says.
When asked how Little Fork would differ from the AK seafood spot, Pruitt says, "The organs of our Abbot Kinney restaurant are seafood, whereas in Hollywood [seafood] is more like the veins and capillaries, not really the core of the menu but prevalent. It feels like it really speaks to that crowd in Venice. It can be lean and healthy and light, it can be fried and rich. It really pleases a lot of different palates."
"It may not exactly be a 'seafood restaurant' per se, but it will undoubtedly have a very strong seafood core," Pruitt continues. "Our approach might be more like at L&E; Oyster Bar. It will be smart. There are definitely going to be some crowd pleasers, hopefully done better, but you're not going to have to pull out your food dictionary to figure it out. I always say 'if safe is a 'five,' let's go to seven.'"
Final tastings of the in-development menu are underway, with a vision of 60/40 small to large plates and a debut "maybe in mid-January."
Little Fork, 1600 Wilcox Ave Hollywood.
To-Be-Named Abbot Kinney Project, 1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice.