Beechwood’s Chef Shuffle: Jaime Lauren Out, Roy Choi In

Big changes are afoot over at Venice’s Beechwood restaurant. According to Eater L.A., head chef and former Top Chef alum Jaime Lauren is out as head chef and owner David Reiss will bring in chef Roy Choi to provide new direction for the kitchen, while also making plans to the dining space. The restaurant reports that the split with Lauren was amicable, though there are no details as to where she might head next. We were fans of Lauren’s cooking at Beechwood, which also pulled a star and a half from the L.A. Times, but we have high hopes for Choi as well. The Kogi mastermind has already accrued a mini-empire in the Venice-adjacent area with Chego, A-Frame, and the Kogi menu served at the nearby Alibi Room. Beechwood represents a new opportunity for his his unique brand of fusion dining. Alice Chin, Choi’s long-time creative director, promised “Roy Choi’s most American menu to date.” Sounds good to us, just as long as the re-design team keeps their lovely patio fire pit around for chilly Venice nights.