Thursday, December 16, 2010

Now Open: Les Deux Estate

Giovanni Martinez and Joel Black of Les Deux Estate
Last night Les Deux Estate opened in the former club space on Las Palmas. The new incarnation is a gastropub with cocktails from Giovanni Martinez of the Buffalo Club, Joel Black (ex Comme Ca and Cana) and Jason Robey of Bar | Kitchen and occupies the front room facing the street.  "Our focus is on quality food and quality drinks with a modest but good beer selection," Martinez said.

The cocktail list is short, with seven selections, as the bartenders expect to be making a lot of Dealer's Choice in which the customer describes the flavor profile and spirit they are looking for and the bartender "does the rest."  Each of the three bartenders contributed 2-3 drinks to the list; fans of Black will be excited that he brought his signature Smashed Irishman (below) to the program.  The Irishman includes Jameson Irish Whiskey, Lemon, Basil, Red Bell Pepper, Honey and a housemade Guinness Reduction.

The kitchen is helmed by David Schmit, former sous chef at the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica.  The food menu is also short and heavy on classic American bar food, with options such as the Strait Up Burger ($11), Honey Sambal Wings ($10), and the LD Caesar Salad ($9) as well as some more refined options like the Roasted Beet Salad ($11), the 1/2 Jidori Roasted Chicken ($19) or the Pepper Crusted Salmon ($20).  The only dessert is Bourbon Bread Pudding, so Chef Schmit must have confidence that it is a winning dish.

Martinez said that they are hoping to be a neighborhood spot where locals can grab dinner, a snack or a drink from 6 pm - Midnight on Wednesday through Saturday evenings and be a respite from the large clubs nearby.  The cocktail list is seasonal and they most of their herbs on site.  They are currently growing chili peppers, herbs and cucumbers on the roof.  "We'll be doing market driven cocktails with classical execution and classic drinks with a market driven execution.  There are no holds barred as we develop the menu," Martinez enthusiastically commented.  Martinez's Highlander cocktail is below.  It includes Tequila Ocho Blanco, Drambuie, Thyme Infused Agave and Lemon Juice.  It was garnished with a sprig of thyme on top and tasted great; the tequila flavor predominated.

However, one thing to note is that the decor does not jibe with the gastropub concept. Just ignore that and head straight to the bar and get a cocktail. It is refreshing to see a list of drinks that 100% of which were developed by the bartenders making your cocktail in front of you. There was no consultant swooping in from out of town. Giovanni, Joel and Jason are veterans and it shows in their beverages.

It is refreshing to see a velvet rope, DJ/promoter driven place evolve into an establishment that respects quality. So don't expect any clipboard wielding women or burly bouncers blocking your way into Les Deux. The doors are wide open now, so feel free to check it out. Well-made drinks await you.

Les Deux Estate: 1638 N. Las Palmas,  just South of Hollywood Blvd.  Website:


  1. Nice write-up, Aaron! Yet another bar to add to the ever growing list of places I need to check out soon.

  2. I never had the (dis)honor of visiting Les Deux during its past incarnation, but based on what I've heard, that's probably a good thing. Now, at least partly due to your post, I'm tempted.

  3. Josh - you didn't miss anything in the prior incarnations. They are in soft opening until January, so it should be pretty chill right now. I just wish the decor in the room was more pub-like.

  4. Les Deux has always been my #1 favorite Hollywood hot spot since it's inception to LA / Hollywood nightlife world! Now it's been reopened to the public and still has the glitz and glam and starting on Friday, March 11th 2011 - Les Deux will earn its former reputation back and more! Nightlife event veterans Jamie Barren, SneaksVip, Mark Tung, Stizo, Mark Neflas and Devrin Anderson plan to re-launch their former Hollywood hit promotion on Fridays at Les Deux (the same promoters that promoted and produced Fridays at Les Deux when owned and operated by the Dolce Group) - hitting capacity early, filling the dance floor with young sexy fashionably Hollywood partygoers! Dont believe me? See for yourself on Friday March 11th or any Friday thereafter! VIP guest list reservations and event info possible by contacting VIP host Jamie Barren at jamiebarrenpresents(dot)com (party pics taken from Fridays at Les Deux 2010 also available for viewing so you can checkout how fridays were in 2010 and how they will be in 2011)