Flores, the Sawtelle restaurant owned by Amal Flores, has been closed for the past couple of weeks to make way for a new chef — Brian Dunsmoor of the Hart and the Hunter. But the chef isn't all that's changing. Today, news comes that the restaurant will reopen as the Ladies' Gunboat Society, serving upscale Southern food. One source tells us the chef is touting the new project as “a cross between Chez Panisse and the deep South.”
Also involved in the project is Jonathan Strader, longtime front-of-house manager at Hart and the Hunter. Both Dunsmoor and Strader will retain their positions at Hart and the Hunter as well.
The Ladies' Gunboat Society is an interesting name, and not just for obvious reasons (it sounds like the name of a bad detective novel). It's named for groups of women who raised funds to build ironclad gunboats to protect the harbors of the Confederate South during the Civil War. So it's honoring a feminist but pro-Confederacy legacy. Hmmm.
The Ladies' Gunboat Society will open on April 24 to the public, and will be open seven nights a week.