Chef Sasha Lyon, who was the executive chef at Delphine inside the W Hollywood, and who recently revamped the menu at downtown's Soleto, has left both restaurants. His final day of service was last Thursday.

Lyon, who is classically trained and came from New York four years ago to take the lead position with Innovative Dining Group (IDG), had been feeling slightly stifled by working for a large corporation, and was entertaining offers from investors. “I've been itching to do my own thing since I moved back to LA,” said Lyon when reached by phone, “and now was the time to move on.”]
Lyon has worked under some of the biggest names in the business, including chefs Daniel Boulud (Cafe Boulud, New York), Roger Vergé (Moulin de Mougins, France), Michel Richard and Alain Giraud (Citrus, LA). He was the opening sous chef at New York's famed Balthazar, and served as chef de cuisine at the now-closed Pastis. While at Delphine, he received positive reviews, including one from this publication.

The departure comes just after the chef completely reworked the menu at Soleto Trattoria and Pizza Bar. “We went from using 60 pounds of butter each week to using seven – and all seven are for pastry,” Lyon says of his most recent work in the kitchen. The menu at Soleto is now more vegetable-centric, with plenty of fish and a bit of pork – because who doesn't love pork?

About his new project, Lyon says: “I can't disclose too much at this stage, but I have been conspiring through the winter with local farmers and artisans.” He'll be spending the summer popping up at kitchens around town while he finalizes details for his forthcoming restaurant.

In stark contrast to what he had been doing for IDG, Lyon's new project will be a small restaurant, possibly on the Westside. It will have a very limited menu. “My style of cooking has always been to use what's fresh and flavorful. That's trendy now, but I'm going back to my roots and my training in France,” Lyon says. “I'm excited to start testing ideas out with this season's produce.”

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