Jeremy Fox's New Restaurant, Barnyard Venice, Set for Summer Opening
Through the open panels in the burlap awning over the patio of chef Jeremy Fox’s new restaurant, you’ll have an excellent view of the local surfer dudes who stroll past regularly. Next door, there is a marijuana collective.
Locals will likely be surprised to find that Benice, the dive-y breakfast joint that inhabited the space for years, has been replaced with a beautiful, clean, elegant, restaurant called Barnyard.
The upscale restaurant, set to open this summer, will be a change for this once-gritty street, but one that will fit in nicely — Fox is intent on retaining the familiar, community spirit of the Los Angeles neighborhood. He’ll serve food that features produce found as near as the Santa Monica Farmers Market, and lunch in particular will be geared specifically toward locals.
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The Barnyard will transform the Benice space into a destination restaurant, where both locals and tourists will get to experience the Bay Area cuisine in ingredient-driven, vegetable-heavy dishes.
In 2010, when Fox left his Napa Valley vegetarian-restaurant-yoga-studio hybrid Ubuntu — the first Michelin-starred restaurant of its kind — the food world was left to speculate as to where the celebrated chef would land next.
After two years, in which he’s been working on a vegetable cookbook while consulting for restaurants like Paper or Plastik and Freddy Smalls, Fox has finally found a new roost. Here at Barnyard he plans to combine all the inspirations and influences from his culinary journey in order to create an exciting, eclectic, and entirely unique form of "peasant cuisine."
That means we’ll see shareable dishes loaded with vegetables and influenced by the cuisines of his travels in Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa, as well as Fox’s Southern upbringing. Fox takes rustic, seasonal fare to a whole new level, with his fundamental passion for gardening, which, at Ubuntu, led him to grow 75 percent of what he cooked with.
Barnyard wouldn’t be Fox’s restaurant if it didn’t feature a garden from which the bulk of produce on the menu was supplied, and it does. Fox has a huge wicker basket that he fills to the brim with seeds of various vegetables and herbs — all of which will be used on the menu.
When it comes down to it, Fox is serving the kind of food he wants to cook and eat — the kind that’s hard to come by and hard to beat, the kind that’s grounded in true passion — in his case, for gardening and vegetables.