Just a month ago, Andre Guerrero and Palate chef Gary Menes were just beginning to transform Max into market-driven Marche. In the interim, Menes and Guerrero changed the name to marché L.A., since Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa already owns the “Marche” trademark. On the night before the September 8 debut, the partners previewed Chef Menes’ food, drawing from the opening menu. The decor and staff are all that remain from Max. Almost everything else is fresh.
The menu will likely change on a weekly basis, but according to our waiter, Menes recently said, “The menu’s never set until 5:30 when we open the door, and even then it might change, but don’t worry, the food will always be better for it.” Guerrero said three dishes at marché L.A. are generally equivalent to two dishes at a standard restaurant.
Guerrero’s longtime girlfriend Jan Purdy was pastry chef at Max and remained with the restaurant through the transition to marché L.A. At the new restaurant, Purdy has some new kitchen toys, including a Pacojet. She also bakes marché L.A.’s bread, producing buttery brioche and using her grandmother’s recipe to create soft potato rolls studded with chunks of potato.
Here are some highlights from Monday’s preview dinner:
Menes served the salumi with a pat of house-made butter strengthened with buttermilk and sprinkled with sea salt.