Just in time for Valentine’s Day, romance is brewing between Umami Co. founder Adam Fleischman and former Royce chef David Féau. The two have been canoodling in preparation for a bistro-style pop-up called Coin de Rue (“Street Corner” in French), which will take over the Wilshire Boulevard space recently vacated by the Fleischman-co-owned Red Medicine.
The last time we saw chef Féau he was moonlighting at Le Ka, the short-lived, sorta corporate-feeling restaurant near Bunker Hill. But back in 2011, our restaurant critic Patric Kuh awarded Féau four stars for his work at the Royce at the Langham Huntington, the once ambitious Cal-French restaurant that’s now an upscale steak house. A year later, we named him one of 2012’s Chefs of the Year.
So, what happens when an acclaimed chef is without a home and a high-profile (read: $$$) restaurant space is sitting vacant? This: Starting February 12—and taking place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night throughout this month—Coin de Rue will be the stage for chef Féau’s slightly less butter-laden take on Parisian bistro classics. Each evening will feature a four-course prix-fixe menu for $55 that will include dishes like vegan onion soup with roasted garlic bread and a Compté cheese cube, eggs soft-scrambled with sea urchin and cabbage, and roasted duck Apicius with caramelized salsify puree and, as the ancient Roman chef prescribed, turnips.
In addition there will be a selection of bar bites available a la carte, such as a caramel peppercorn puff with foie gras mousse and a rabbit terrine with persimmon-apple-rosemary gelée. Wine pairings are offered for an additional $25 or folks can sip on a cocktail from Cody Summer (The Tasting Kitchen, Copa D’Oro).
The pop-up seems like an awfully good way for Fleischman to test a possible replacement chef/concept for the Red Medicine space, which has proved a challenging restaurant location. That Jordan Kahn’s critically hailed modern Vietnamese cooking couldn’t hold the place down leaves a lot on Féau’s plate.
For now, snag one of the last great Valentine’s Day reservations left in town by calling 310-943-9650.