by Kat O’Dell
February 1, 2012
As reported yesterday, chef Jet Tila (Wazuzu at Encore Las Vegas) is in the process of taking over Angel’s cocktail bar in Santa Monica and reopening the venue as a dinner and drinks spot called The Charleston. Not, in fact, a gastropub as originally rumored. On his decision to makeover the bar Tila explains, “I’m going away from my roots as an Asian chef by highlighting my roots as a restaurateur. I wanted to be home. I wanted to have an F&B presence back home….It’s a fantastic location. No one has really understood how to cut this diamond to make it shine.”
While the lounge will stay open during renovations, or as Tila puts it, “We take the car into the body shop for a few weeks and pimp it out,” expect to see a major renovation of the menu and cocktail list. “Basically I want everyone to understand it’s going to be a bar with great food first,” Tila says. “We’ll be debuting brunch by the mid part of this year. We’ll feature very beverage-friendly small bites.”
Tila plans to serve Thai street fare similar to the plates he introduces next week during a pop-up dinner at Origin India Restaurantx and Lounge in Las Vegas. “[The Charleston] will be a laboratory for me to play where I come up with some crazy ideas. I don’t want to call it a gastropub. It’s a fun place to have a bunch of food and drinks.”
At his pop-up dinner in Vegas, he’s partnering with master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim who will create a cocktail pairing for the night. Abou-Ganim is also giving The Charleston drink menu “an eyeball to see if he can inspire some cocktails.”
In other Tila news, the common ownership between Bru Haus and The Charleston could turn his consulting gig at the pub into something more in the future, but no plans are inked. Tila will also continue his Breadbar Bistronomics pop-up dinners sometime in the spring.