Eek! David Nayfeld’s Culinary Version of Nails on a Chalkboard

Nayfeld is the first chef in rotation who will lead the soon-to-open Fifty Seven in downtown’s Arts District

Illustration by Nigel Buchanan

Kitschy food—truffle fries, Kobe sliders, and pastrami lox. That kind of gimmicky cooking is condescending, especially to Southern Californians, who are incredibly savvy. Produce is like a birthright here. You grow up knowing what great ingredients are all about. You know quality. As a veteran of New York City’s three Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park, how does L.A.’s fine-dining scene stack up? That culture still has a long way to go. But I don’t want to try and bring New York fine dining or Paris fine dining here. With time I want to help carve out exactly what fine dining in L.A. means. I don’t even think Angelenos know yet. But anyone who says this city doesn’t have incredible food is sorely mistaken. Seven, 712 S. Santa Fe Ave., Downtown,