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One of LA’s Best Wine Shops Now Houses a New French-Vietnamese Restaurant

Wine House Kitchen is pairing its menu with bottles from the half-century-old store.

Food from Wine House Kitchen Wine House Kitchen

Los Angeles wine buffs have long loved the 47-year-old wine shop Wine House. Now they have some food to pair with all of those bottles.

Wine House Kitchen quietly opened this fall above the wine shop, Eater LA reported on Wednesday. Helmed by chef Maiki Le, the restaurant is serving up wine bar classics with a French-Vietnamese spin—and a plentiful selection of wine.

Initially set to open in 2020, Wine House Kitchen was planned as the follow-up to the wine bar Upstairs 2, which closed in 2019. One of the wine shop’s owners, Jim Knight, had approached Francois Renaud (formerly of Terrine and Viale dei Romani) to set up the new space, and they’ve finally opened it up for business.

Le, who’s worked at Belcampo Meat Co. and Momed Beverly Hills—and who served as the executive chef at Upstairs 2—has devised a creative menu that’s quintessentially LA. Starters range from the small (carbonara deviled eggs; pineapple-gochujang chicken bites) to the more hearty (banh mi fries with pork belly, pate de campagne, pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeño, cucumbers and maggi mayo). While some of those dishes are reminiscent of bar bites, the mains hew to the fresher side. Cast iron barramundi comes with butter beans, edamame, oven dried cherry tomatoes and green goddess, while lemongrass and turmeric pork flat iron features Vietnamese herbs, red leaf lettuce, rice noodles, crispy shallots and nuoc mam gung (a ginger fish sauce).

The interior of Wine House Kitchen
The interior of the restaurant Wine House Kitchen

Of course, there are a few richer options, for those looking to indulge. A salmon imperial roll is wrapped with crème fraiche, spinach and three types of roe, and a 21-day, dry-aged tomahawk weighing 32 ounces is served with horseradish sauce, béarnaise butter and a red wine demi-glace.

The drinks, meanwhile, have been curated by lead bartender Chris Grosso, who comes to Wine House Kitchen after stints at Blind Barber and New York’s RPM Bar. The cocktail list leans heavily toward gin and whiskey classics, such as Negronis and Manhattans. Renaud developed the wine list alongside sommelier-server Grace Gaboury, with an eye toward what pairs well with the menu.

“It was built to match Le’s food,” he told Eater. “Some are nearly extinct like the Negrette from Chateau Flotis in the French southwestern Fronton region. And there’s a lot of older vintages, like the 2013 Chateau Revelette Coteaux d’Aix en Provence which you don’t see much on [restaurant] wine lists these days.”

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