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Top Chef Alum Leads This New Restaurant Atop the LA Members-Only Club and Hotel the Aster

Marcel Vigneron is serving up prawns and pasta at the rooftop spot.

Grilled prawns from Lemon Grove Patrick Chin

Just in time for fall in Los Angeles (which, let’s face it, really still feels like summer), a new rooftop restaurant and bar has opened for alfresco enjoyment.

Lemon Grove, which sits atop the members-only club and hotel the Aster, has debuted with the Top Chef alum Marcel Vigneron running the kitchen. The 7,200-square-foot indoor-outdoor space has room for 112, and luckily you don’t have to be a member of the Aster to enjoy Vigneron’s menu (although the $3,600 annual fee will allow you to partake in the members- and guests-only lunch).

Lemon pasta from Lemon Grove
The lemon pasta Patrick Chin

Vigneron, formerly of the local spots Wolf and Tacos Lobos, took over his new role from his fellow Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot, who was previously attached to Lemon Grove. Talbot was planning a menu with Asian and Mediterranean flavors, and it seems that Vigneron has decided to continue down that path. His debut menu includes dishes such as grilled prawns with spicy sesame aioli, a tri-color lyonnaise salad, bone-in ribeye and a chitarra lemon pasta with turmeric, tom kha cream and tomatoes.

“[I’m most excited by] the fresh chitarra pasta, inspired by our neighbors over there at Capital Records, and the tom kha sauce is a little nod to our other neighbors down the street in Thai Town,” the chef told Eater LA. “Lastly, who doesn’t love a little foam.”

Heritage Duroc pork chop from Lemon Grove
Heritage Duroc pork chop Patrick Chin

Accompanying the pasta and Vigneron’s other creations will be drinks from Chris Whelan, who’s had stints at Soho House and Yamashiro. At Lemon Grove, he’ll be whipping up both alcoholic libations and booze-free sips. If you are imbibing, a limoncello spritz nods to the restaurant’s name, while the grilled peach cobbler mixes together bourbon, grilled peach, cinnamon, mint and powdered sugar.

In a very LA move, Lemon Grove is also focused heavily on sustainability: Unused food is donated to the Hollywood Food Coalition; ingredients are sourced from local fish and produce suppliers; and the restaurant uses plastic alternatives. Thankfully doing good can go hand in hand with eating good.

Lemon Grove is open Wednesday and Sunday, 5 to 10 pm, and Thursday through Saturday, 5 to 11 pm.

Click here to see all the photos of Lemon Grove.

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