Niles Crane once sniffed that art in restaurants is on par with food in museums; but trends would now prove him decisively wrong. To wit, at Hauser + Wirth’s LA gallery, former Soho House NY chef Wes Whitsell has opened the sleek New American eatery Manuela – named for the Manuela Wirth – to rapturous excitement.
Open just for lunch and brunch for now, it plays to Whitsell’s Texas heritage, starting with the gorgeous interior. M. Winer Design somehow managed to marry mid-century modern with old southern charm, resulting in a room that might just as easily be in downtown Savannah. The brass and marble bar adds a Continental sophistication.
And the food? More cheeky winking to the south, with raw and cured offerings including a meat plate called Redneck Sampler, and a menu that boasts braised collard greens, trout roe egg salad, duck breast BLT and blackberry cobbler. But the sourcing is seriously local: there’s an on-site herb, fruit and vegetable garden and, well, a designer rare breed chicken house.
Just need post-art cocktail conversation? Order up a few rounds of Nightshades or Rattlesnake Roundups and discuss the future of culture.
Currently showing at the gallery is MARIA LASSNIG. A PAINTING SURVEY, 1950 – 2007.