Thierry Perez may have culinary ADD, but we're excited to go along for the ride. Later this month, the restaurateur, formerly of Fraîche, will open L'Epicerie, a combination market, restaurant, bakery, wine tasting room, coffee bar, ice cream parlor, crêperie, delicatessen, and magazine stand.
Why Culver City? Through a thick French accent Perez tells us, “I live here. I love Culver City. It is my town. But there is no cheese shop, charcuterie shop, wine shop around here. If you want to buy cheese, you have to go all the way to Beverly Market. If you want to buy wine, you have to go all the way to Santa Monica or Beverly Hills. Every time you want to buy a magazine, you need to go all the way to Olympic.” Perez saw L'Epicerie as a way to fill what he sees as an abundance of Westside holes. “I try to bring what people need here.”
The restaurant's menu will feature French, Spanish, and Italian dishes prepared in an open kitchen, although Perez doesn't really think of it as a kitchen per se. “We have four burners but no gas. A lot of prep. More like warm up,” he says.
And while wine is available, it's more about sampling than actually drinking. “It won't be like a wine bar. It's a place to taste the wine, the cheese, the charcuterie, then you buy.”
But will Perez see this through? He left Fraîche rather abruptly, due to what he identified as “different views on how to manage the business,” and recently cut ties with Waterloo & City, though according to him, he was only ever to be involved in the restaurant's concept.
Still, Perez exudes an enthusiasm for his new project. “I'm happy with this concept,” he says. “It's my new baby.”
L'Epicerie is set to open at the end of August.
L'Epicerie: 9900 Culver Blvd., Culver City.