Show 354, January 4, 2020: Executive Chef Tony Esnault and Restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, Knife Pleat at South Coast Plaza Part Two

Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi of Knife PleatKnife Pleat in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse, Level 3, was one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant launches of last year. It’s an elegant and approachable French restaurant with an unusual garden patio helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi, who are well-known from the Los Angeles culinary scene with Church & State and Spring. The couple’s chic new restaurant showcases modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques by Esnault, one of California’s best French chefs.

“For Knife Pleat, Esnault has created an elegant menu that features highlights such as Escargot Ravioli with a filling of wild burgundy snails in a mushroom broth with celery, garlic and watercress; chilled Langoustine with radish, green papaya, coconut espuma and lemongrass; Crescent Duck featuring breast and leg confit with Swiss chard, Tokyo turnip and pickled rhubarb. Esnault shows his appreciation for California’s incredible produce with a Vegetable Mosaic starter composed of tomato, zucchini, watermelon radish, kohlrabi and fresh chickpea.”

“Knife Pleat’s beverage program features craft cocktails that pay homage to designers who also call South Coast Plaza home. The Oscar de la Renta, for example, plays on the late fashion icon’s Dominican Republic roots with Brugal Añejo Rum, chinola, passion fruit and lemon.”

“The cuisine is set in a dramatic 5,000-square-foot space that has 80 seats and two dining areas – an airy dining room wrapped with floor-to-ceiling translucent windows and a plein air patio accented with greenery. A seven-seat bar provides views of the striking exhibition kitchen where Esnault and his team can be observed in action. The refined architecture and interiors by Johnson Fain – in collaboration with Sarmadi and Esnault – is decidedly understated, with a high fashion aesthetic and a soft palette.”

Knife Pleat serves lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily; dinner 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and Afternoon Tea from 3 to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.

We continue our conversation with the dynamic husband & wife couple of both Chef Tony & Restaurateur Yassmin.