Aestus today announced a new chef. Andrew Betita will take over the Santa Monica restaurant's kitchen this week, replacing opening chef Alex Ageneau. The switch coincides with Aestus' one-year anniversary.

Betita comes to Aestus from Fishing With Dynamite in Manhattan Beach, where he worked under David LeFevre as a sous chef. He also worked in the kitchen at LeFevre's MB Post. Prior to that, he'd spent time with Ari Taymor at Alma and at the Bazaar at the SLS Hotel. A Southern California native, Betita says, “I'm looking forward to working closely with the Aestus team to continue refining the menus in 2016 with unexpected flavors and presentations.”

Aestus opened in January 2015 on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica and garnered praise for its wood-fired cooking and its slick, midcentury dining room. Owned by Spago alum Kevin O'Connor, the restaurant also has a pretty serious wine and cocktail program. It joined a slew of new places that opened early last year in Santa Monica, helping to propel what Betita says is a “shift in momentum to the Westside.”

We look forward to seeing what Betita adds to that momentum. 

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