Sascha Lyon is a Los Angeles native, but his culinary career has taken him all over the country. Today he synthesizes all of those experiences with his personal passions to open Commerson, a restaurant on La Brea Avenue in Mid-Wilshire named after French botanist Philibert Commerson.
Lyon has a wide-ranging and impressive career, including being part of the opening team at New York's famed Daniel restaurant, and also working at Balthazar. He went on to become the chef de cuisine at Pastis before opening his own New York spot, Sascha Restaurant and Bakery.
Now back on his home turf, the chef is today celebrating the grand opening of Commerson, in collaboration with his wife, artist and designer Rita Lyon. The menu hews fairly closely to that of a California neighborhood bistro, with plenty of international influences: yellowtail poké, a salad of shaved kale and Brussels sprouts, charred octopus, butternut squash agnolotti, an organic grass-fed burger. To celebrate Commerson's grand opening, guests will receive a free glass of Champagne upon arrival today.
Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about Commerson is its hours. The restaurant will be open Tuesday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., which is uncommon in this weirdly late-night-averse town. It will be interesting to see how that works out — other (non-Koreatown) restaurants that have tried the late-night game (such as Red Medicine, R.I.P.) have found themselves empty after 10 p.m. Let's hope we have it in us as a city to appreciate the effort to give us more late-night options.
Commerson, 788 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire. (323) 813-3000, commersonrestaurant.com.