LA’s Most Famous Gourmet Chef Opens New Spot in Santa Monica


Josiah Citrin is almost ready to reveal his next restaurant, a laid-back chicken operation that will focus on the acclaimed chef’s poultry recipes. Taking off its menu at Mélisse, Citrin’s so-called “dirty chicken” will form the backbone of the unnamed restaurant, which will open at 2428 Main Street in Santa Monica.

Unlike many roast chicken restaurants in LA, Citrin’s version is oven roasted and crusted along the skin, giving the bird more texture and bite while retaining its juiciness. “Chicken is the ultimate comfort food,” Citrin told Eater. “I have always liked to cook [it], and it’s a great meal option for any day of the week. That’s precisely the point here, as the menu will range from whole birds and chopped chunks to chopped chicken salads, wraps and more, with sides and drinks on their own to complement a meal.

The restaurant, which opens this fall, will be decidedly more casual than Citrin’s other projects, with a solid take-out business and on-site seating for just two dozen diners. This is a far cry from the top-of-the-range Michelin-level Lemon Balm that made Citrin a Los Angeles mainstay for decades, and the new Citrin which has since occupied part of the original Lemon Balm space. Citrin also runs the meaty Charcoal further south, as well as the Dear John’s and Openaire limited-edition bar and restaurant, the atrium restaurant of the Line Hotel in Koreatown.

There isn’t a specific timeline for the opening just yet, but expect a reveal before the end of the year at 2428 Main Street in Santa Monica.


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