Roy Choi Takes Over Beechwood Kitchen; Jamie Lauren Out

Beechwood (left) and chef Jamie Lauren (right)
Beechwood (left) and chef Jamie Lauren (right)

Kogi, Chego and A-Frame impresario Roy Choi can add one more restaurant to his resumé: Beechwood. We heard about this a couple weeks ago, but now it's official. Chef Jamie Lauren is out and Choi is in at the sleek New American restaurant in Venice. Owner Dave Reiss has asked Choi to step in and "provide some new direction for the kitchen while making plans to renovate and update the dining space," according to Alice Shin, Choi's PR and Twitter maven. Get ready for Choi's most American menu to date, one that's "laid-back, beachy and contemporary, while expressing some of the classic idiosyncrasies of Roy's imagination."

No word on where tough-talking Lauren, who made a name for herself as a contestant on Top Chef season 5, plans to go next. When we talked with her in December, she had recently relocated from San Francisco and was excited about the culinary possibilities in Los Angeles, telling us:

"I just think that you can get away with a little bit more here [in L.A.], culinary-wise, for some reason. I don't really know why. Like in San Francisco, everybody sort of did the same thing... Here you can get away with using different ingredients or different spices, and people seem to be a little bit more accepting of them. At least here that happened for me."

Or not.

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