Is there room for two vegetable-centric restaurants called Beefsteak in this world?
Time will tell, but sounds like at least two are in the works. José Andrés announced plans for his Beefsteak restaurant last week. And now Eater has received word of another restaurant named Beefsteak coming soon to L.A. — this time from Top Chef veteran Marcel Vigneron.
Here's the D.C. connection: Vigneron will be in town tomorrow promoting his own version of Beefsteak. He's cooking at fellow Top Chef veteran Spike Mendelsohn's Bearnaise restaurant all day. A publicist for Mendelsohn confirmed the pop-up today, though details were limited. They're not sure yet exactly what the chef will be cooking. "It'll be kind of a surprise," she said.
UPDATE: Vigneron said his concept has been about two years in the making; he started cooking healthier about three years ago for clients, which led to eating that way himself and developing new recipes. "I just noticed a huge shift in my overall energy and overall health," he said. "I'm kind of a vegetarian by day, omnivore by night kind of guy."
He moved to Los Angeles in January and thought the area would be a natural fit for Beefsteak, due both to the number of diners interested in a plant-based diet, and the easy and affordable access to good produce. He's signed a lease for his first location there, and has been doing pop-up events in San Francisco. It will be fast-casual and affordably priced, he says.
Tomorrow, diners should expect dishes like a cauliflower steak cooked in coconut oil with turmeric and black pepper seasoning, as well as a kale salad with fruit, vegetables and a creamy almond dressing. "I don't want to give too much away," he said. He doesn't rule out Beefsteak making its way to D.C. eventually, but California is his focus right now. "I think a lot of restaurateurs expand too much too quickly; I want to do whatever I'm doing really, really well. I want to be in the restaurant every day actually cooking the dishes."
Vingeron acknowledges the fact the restaurant has the same name as Andrés' new venture; he said he actually told the chef his idea (and restaurant name) about a year ago at the Cayman Cookout, but didn't elaborate on any potential issues there. "Jose is one of my mentors; I've learned so much from him," he said. Eater has reached to Andrés' team for any comment about the name similarity.