Four Must-Try Restaurants For Fall

An alum of The French Laundry goes it alone and an Italian trattoria with a pedigree comes to La Jolla



Inside Mes Amis. Photo: Michael Mundy.

Friend Zone
Two years after Lincoln Carson’s lauded DTLA restaurant, Bon Temps, closed its doors, fans of the James Beard-nominated chef’s French fare can finally rejoice with the arrival of Mes Amis. The new-generation Hollywood brasserie beckons with Paris-meets-L.A. interiors by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and Bernadette Blanc. Natural oak floors and Noir Saint Laurent marble set the stage for a menu of classics with a modern POV, from a robust raw bar to smoked liberty duck breast with wild huckleberry jus. Carson’s mastery of pastries is also on full display with standouts like a gâteau St. Honoré with pecan mousseline that’s available by the slice or to share. We’ll take two for the table. 1541 Wilcox Ave., L.A., 323-410-6200;


Handmade pasta dishes at Marisi include Trottole with pesto alla Trapanese (top) and agnolotti with corn and king crab (right).

La Jolla Vita
San Diego’s flourishing dining scene has a splashy La Jolla newcomer with serious Italian flair. The culinary team at Marisi includes executive chef Chad Huff, formerly of Providence, Felix Trattoria and Broad Street Oyster Co., whose dishes are served alongside an exacting beverage program created by The Restaurant at Meadowood alum Beau du Bois and sommelier Chris Plaia. (Don’t miss the house-made limoncello.) “Bringing together fine dining and trattoria cooking, our team developed the menu to be comforting but refined, with an emphasis on the wood-fired hearth and pastas inspired by tradition,” Huff explains. Expect Italian-influenced surf as well as turf, with dishes like hearth-fired mackerel, squid and artichoke, in addition to dry-aged beef specialties. The exuberant interiors feature boldly patterned custom mosaic floor tiles and wallpapers, accenting Marisi’s lively, generously sized central bar. 1044 Wall St., La Jolla, 858-401-6787;


Reservations for Petrossian at Tiffany can be made through OpenTable.

Perfect Pairing
Petrossian’s signature cerulean-colored tins of sustainably sourced caviar—some produced in California—mingle with Tiffany & Co.’s trademark robin’s-egg blue inside Costa Mesa’s Petrossian at Tiffany, a new co-branded cafe at the storied jewelry boutique’s South Coast Plaza location. The menu, created by Petrossian executive chef Carlos Cabrera and exclusive to Tiffany, is headlined by Champagne and Shassetra, Ossetra and Kaluga caviar, with such inventive mainstays as buckwheat blinis, potato mille-feuille and, of course, hand-sliced smoked salmon and beef tartare. Creme fraiche and toast accompany each tasting, and the caviar is served on mother-of-pearl spoons. The collaboration between the Parisian purveyor and American jeweler is a not-to-be-missed two-year residency that’s both elegant and imaginative. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714-540-5330 ext. 311;;


Chef Elliot Bell’s restaurant Charlie’s is located in the charming building that once housed Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. Photo: Emma K. Morris.

Boy Next Door
As a volunteer firefighter for the St. Helena Fire Department, Elliot Bell is no stranger to serving the community. The New Zealand-born, Iowa-bred chef came to California by way of Boston, Seattle and New York (cutting his teeth at Gramercy Tavern), ultimately settling in Napa Valley, where he spent the last decade of his career at The French Laundry. This fall, to give thanks to the neighborhood that welcomed him and his young family, Bell is debuting his own restaurant, Charlie’s. Named after his 2-year-old son, Charlie’s will feature a relaxed, seasonal menu focused on local purveyors like Wolfe Ranch Quail, St. Helena Peach Farm and Regiis Ova Caviar. The fire station, as well as Bell’s home, are just around the corner. Now that’s local. 1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena;


Feature image: The bar at Mes Amis. Photo: Michael Mundy.


This story originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of C Magazine.

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