The transformation at Wine House Kitchen, above the Wine House, the venerable West LA retail shop, is hard to overstate. Once home to Upstairs II, the space had been used mostly as a seminar and classroom, and it often felt as if dining was an afterthought. No longer. Jim and Glen Knight have employed vintage elements of Japanese and Danish modern in their redesign, lots of wood and brick and an elongated bar that sweeps into the room, lending a loungey ambiance.
They hired François Renaud as general manager and beverage director; he’s encouraged Chef Maiki Lee to embrace her heritage with a Franco-Vietnamese menu, like Faroe Island salmon imperial rolls, and banh patê sô stuffed with guinea fowl. You’d expect the wine program to draw from the downstairs inventory, but Renaud has insisted on autonomy—less than 20 percent of his selections overlap with the store’s stock below. His list is detailed, thoughtful and a touch quirky, made more so by annotations like this one for Holus Bolus Roussanne: “Higher Calling—potpourri, just-snuffed wick and polished stone—you’re in church.”
Wine House Kitchen is part of our Top 30 LA List of 2023. Read the whole story here.
This story appears in the print issue of Spring 2023.
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