Design Dish: Manuela Restaurant – The Food Of Art


Which came first, the food or the art? From New York to San Francisco, museums are, more and more, places where you’ll find not only intriguing art but intriguing food as well.  From SF MOMA’s In Situ, where Chef Corey Lee reinterprets famous dishes from around the world to The Broad’s Otium, which celebrates California’s diverse food culture, the great works you’ll find in today’s museums can be found on the plate as much as on the wall.  Add Manuela at Los Angeles’s Hauser Wirth & Schimmel to that list.

Located inside the gallery’s sprawling acreage, designer Matt Winter of M Winter Design has created a space that washes a Beaux Arts Paris bistro as imagined by Alphonse Mucha viewed through a mid-century lens over the industrial heritage of the building. Bentwood chairs and stools with curving legs pull up to a brass and marble bar that stretches the length of the restaurant, there’s a brick-lined patio, chandeliers with curving tentacles linger overhead.  




The food is just as engaging and uncommon as the art in the galleries the satellite around the courtyard. Chef Wes Whitsell has authored a menu that celebrates both his Southern heritage and his strong relationships with California farmers with his love for preserving, pickling, butchering and smoking running through such dishes as grilled quail with labne, pomegranate, watercress and sesame seed, smoked pork shoulder with grits and cider jus, deer burger with all the fixings on a milk bun, elk tartare, avocado honey ice cream and fried peach and apricot pie. To underline the freshness of the ingredients, the restaurant includes a chicken coop and a garden.  Chicken and eggs, food and art, whichever came first, we all win.  

Manuela, inside Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, 907 E 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA, 90013, 323.849.0480 for brunch, lunch, drinks and dinner