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Banchan at Park's BBQ
Banchan at Park's BBQ
Anne Fishbein

Semifinalists for 2019 James Beard Awards Include Bavel, Park's BBQ

The James Beard Foundation today announced its list of restaurant and chef award semifinalists today for the 29th annual James Beard Awards, and L.A. secured multiple spots on the list.

No surprise here, Bavel and Majordomo were nominated for best new restaurant, demonstrating excellence in cuisine and hospitality, and likely to make a significant impact in years to come.

Marina del Rey’s reservation-only hidden speakeasy Old Lightning garnered a nod for outstanding bar program and Margarita Manzke of République is a semi-finalist in the outstanding pastry chef list of nominees.

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And Koreatown favorite Park’s BBQ landed in the outstanding restaurant category, demonstrating at least 10 consecutive years of consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, service and operations.

Last year's Best Chef in the West semifinalist Niki Nakayama saw her n/naka make the cut in the outstanding service category. She's also in the best chef category again, along with Genet Agonafer of Meals by Genet; Providence's Michael Cimarusti; Jeremy Fox of Rustic Canyon; Sqirl's Jessica Koslow; Travis Lett of Gjelina; Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market; and Carlos Salgado of Costa Mesa's Taco María.

Night + Market also is on the short list for outstanding wine program.

Kato's Jonathan Yao is among semifinalists for Rising Star Chef of the Year, given to "a chef age 30 or younger who displays exceptional talent, character and leadership ability, and who is likely to make a significant impact in years to come."

The foundation will announce the final nominees for all award categories during a press conference in Houston, hosted by James Beard Award–winning chef Hugo Ortega at his namesake Mexican restaurant, Hugo’s, on Wednesday, March 27. The event will take place at 7 a.m. local time and will be streamed live online (details coming soon on the foundation’s website). The nominees also will be live-tweeted via the James Beard Foundation Twitter feed at twitter.com/beardfoundation.

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