James Graham, the chef working furiously to open an authentic provincial French bistro named Ba in Highland Park, recently lamented the closure of The Grill, the Tuscon diner he founded (and sold in 1999), following its sixteen successful years of 24/7 service. Fortunately, when one door is closed, another opens and Ba’s own blog reports that progress on the new Northeast L.A. project is coming along rapidly, while a source at the restaurant tells us it is already focused on holiday event catering and will most likely begin serving dinner early in the new year, to be followed by lunch within two months. What will Graham be cooking at Ba?
To satisfy curious appetites, Ba fortunately has an electric French menu already on display (duck cassoulet, blueberry soup, pancetta-wrapped oysters, and Mahi Mahi in duck fat quickly stand out), as well as a breakdown of the 900-foot artist-conceived, glass-walled space, designed by Julia Latané.
Last week, Mr. Jonathan Gold congratulated Highland Park on its gain of Andre Guerrero’s Italian restaurant Maximiliano. It might not be long now before the neighborhood gets similar applause for the addition of Graham’s French cooking. The chef certainly has confidence on his side, insisting on the restaurant’s website that "BA can and will stand up to the most intense scrutiny the cuisine world can muster."
Ba, coming to 5100 York Blvd. Highland Park. 213-219-4317.