Marche, formerly Max, in Sherman Oaks opened its doors to the public last night to show its stuff to interested followers of the restaurant. The space, which has had a few changes--including menu, décor, chefs and now names--since it opened about six years ago, has a new attitude and new direction. Owner Andre Guerrero, who was head chef for Max, will remain on as a partner but most of his time and attention will be given to his other restaurants BoHo in Los Angles and Oinkster in Eagle Rock.
Max devotees will be happy to note that the ambiance, full of rich colors, dark woods and candlelight, along with earnest service, has not changed. But that's where the similarities end.
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Chef Gary Menes, who honed his skills at the successful Palate Food + Wine in Glendale under Octavio Becerra and has also done stints at The French Laundry and with The Patina Group among others, is the driving force behind the restaurants new direction and its decidedly different menu. One thing that he brought with him to Marche from Palate is his decision to have ever changing offerings on the menu. He doesn't seem to be afraid to change dishes not only seasonally but nightly. At dinner, the server didn't give details on specials, but instead on dishes and ingredients that had changed since the soft opening the night before.
So, those wanting a menu with old favorites waiting for them visit after visit will have to look elsewhere, "I like the process of saying good bye," said Menes. He expects the menu to change about once a week adding that "it's good to long for things," referring to the seasonal ingredients that will not always be available yet will eventually make their way back into his dishes when the season is right.
Marche: 3355 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 784-2915.