After Yoni Levy left Daniel Patterson's Alta CA in April, he planned to spend some quality time with his wife and his dog. And, he did... for a little while, at least. Now he's back at it, heading up the kitchen at Outerlands.
After a six-month revamp and following the departure of long-time chef Brett Cooper (who has now opened his own restaurant, Aster) in 2014, owners Dave Muller and Lana Porcello have maintained the essence of what's made the restaurant an Outer Sunset destination for years. That includes Muller's outstanding bread, which is part of what drew Levy to the fog-bound spot. "I love it because its on the edge of the earth and because it's based around their bread," explained Levy. "I've always been a huge fan of the bread there."
Right now Levy says he is just getting settled into the kitchen at Outerlands, learning the lay of the land and working on adding his own dishes to the menu, which will happen over the course of the next few weeks. "I'm not going to rush in and change the menu... we're going to slowly and gradually make some changes, take it slow. People have their favorites."
Pastry chef Brooke Mosley will continue to run the pastry and bread side of things, as well as breakfast, while Levy will concentrate on weekday lunch and dinner. As far as putting his own stamp on the menu, Levy says that he's not planning to bring in a big Eastern European influence, like with his food at Alta CA. "But," he says, "I am a jew and you can't fight what you ate growing up. There are things I can't ever shake off, like my falafel recipe and maybe the pastrami. They'll show their faces, but they won't be highlighted in the same way."
"My goal at Alta CA was to make the food as delicious as possible; my goal at Outerlands is the same," said Levy. "I'm not there to change the structure, because it's a huge success and a beautiful place with good energy. I don't want to change that, I just want to add to it."