Echo Park's Allston Yacht Club is undergoing a transformation. Come 2013, the restaurant will reopen as Allumette, with 24-year-old Miles Thompson -- who spearheaded the summer pop-up series Vagrancy Project there -- as executive chef.
Allston Yacht Club owners Bill DiDonna and Charles Kelly were inspired by their partnership with Thompson to open Allumette, which translates to "matchstick" -- a nod to classical French cuisine (allumette is also a slender knife cut). The new restaurant will showcase Thompson's inventive-but-approachable menu, with 10 to 15 dishes each evening featuring the highlights of the season. These aren't share plates -- a handful per person, selected from five menu sections (vegetable, shellfish, fish, meat and sharing), are meant to be a tasting-menu experience.
Example dishes include red kuri squash with broccoli, vadouvan and carrot; monkfish with sour cherry, chorizo and mustard; shrimp with dashi, cotija and grapes; pork shoulder with ras al hanout, orange and olives; and loup de mer with mussels, fennel and rouille.
Thompson is an Ohio native, raised in South Salem, N.Y., whose first job in the kitchen was with caterer Charlotte Berwind. In 2008 he moved to L.A. and landed at sushi restaurant Nobu, working his way up to lead line cook, and eventually becoming executive sous chef at Son of a Gun.