Josiah Citrin, the lauded chef-owner of Mélisse, is once again expanding his horizons beyond fine dining. He previously partnered with JiRaffe owner Raphael Lunetta on Lemon Moon. Now Citrin and protégée Nyesha Arrington are helming the kitchen at Caché, a new market-driven restaurant that debuts in Santa Monica on July 3, in the former home of Hidden. The ownership group includes visual effects brothers Greg and Colin Strause, real estate developer Steven Lee and Perry’s owner Richard Chacker.
Culver City-based firm Shubin & Donaldson remodeled the space to include white walls, dark mahogany and teak flooring. Architect Ann-Sofi Holst integrated an open kitchen, an outdoor bar and lounge with retractable awnings and fieldstone cabanas. The restaurant has teamed with Aldis Browne Fine Arts of Santa Monica to rotate exhibits from local contemporary artists. Citrin helped to remodel the kitchen, making sure to keep Hidden’s wood-burning oven to cook flatbreads.
The opening menu features dishes like Wood Fired Calamari ($13) with parsley, chorizo and Meyer lemon confit; Summer Peach salad ($13) with duck confit, garlic croutons, candied walnuts and sherry vinaigrette; Eggplant flatbread ($12) with Parmesan, olive, white bean and scallions; and Kurobuta Pork Chop ($26) with pineapple chutney and mint.
The dessert menu features seven different options costing $10 apiece. Consider the pineapple crème brulee or pecan Bourbon tart with mocha ice cream.
If you’re feeling casual, the Bar & Lounge menu hosts relatively low-priced options like Foie Gras Parfait ($12), Sliders ($9) and Parmesan Truffle Fries ($10).
Update: Caché is now CLOSED.