Sneak Peek: Fifty Seven's New Chef & Menu

By Lesley Balla  |  June 4, 2014
Credit: Fifty Seven

It's fitting that Fifty Seven is in the Arts District. Although it's a fullly designed spot that's every bit as industrial-chic as it should be for the neighborhood, the restaurant from Cardiff Giant (The Churchill, The Hudson, DBA) still feels more like a shell, or a gallery to fill up with a new restaurant vision every month. The idea is that a new chef will come in with his or her own menu and team and the restaurant becomes theirs for a "residency." At opening, David Nayfield led the charge with tasting menus, served by a team in crisp white shirts and a more high-end temperament, overall. But his tenure is over today.

Incoming chef Josh Drew, who spent the last three-and-a-half years at FarmShop at the Brentwood Country Mart, begins serving his menu on Thursday, June 5. He finds inspiration in late-spring and summer ingredients from small farms and fisheries: things like wild spot prawns, peaches, mulberries, king salmon, razor clams, strawberries and more. The menu format has shifted to a la carte, as opposed to the previous prix fixe. Drew's vision is a bit more rustic-casual, so the vibe will be lighter and more lively. The servers are dressed in henley shirts and Hedley & Bennett aprons instead of those crisp button-ups. There's also a new cocktail menu courtesy Proprietors LLC, the group behind hot spots like Honeycut. A first sneak peek of the new menu is below. Look for this and more starting this week.

  • Morro Bay Pacific Gold oysters with avocado, fresh horseradish, frill mustard and salmorejo (a Spanish puree made of tomato, bread, olive oil and garlic).

  • Wild spot prawns cooked a la plancha with buttermilk and grilled black kale pesto.

  • A twist on Greek saganaki: this is griddled provolone with Windrose Farm flowering marjoram and pecans.

  • Deeply hued Robada apricots from Frog Hollow Farm with red dandelion and sunflower seeds. 

  • Ora king salmon with Windrose Farm round carrots, razor clams and scallion. 

  • The 100-day dry-aged rib eye for two comes with Frog Hollow Farm peaches, porcini mushrooms, smashed potatoes and salsa verde.