Following a soft-debut, Duplex officially opens this evening among two stories of an early 20th century abode on Third Street, just east of Robertson. The last (and only) time we heard anything about the restaurant, the owner was going buck-wild with Eater, hollering and smashing the website’s camera (he’s probably just a big Besha Rodell fan). Anyway, smooth move! Duplex, according to the restaurant, strives for a mixed bag of approachable, produce-centered California cooking under chef Lauren Cartmel, formerly a pastry chef for Gordon Ramsay Holdings and the senior sous at Polo Lounge, in a residential space that’s been skewed by Thomas Schoos.
In a press statement, Cartmel says, "I want to get back to the way food used to be: clean and simply prepared, using whole and ancient grains, heirloom varieties, and farms that maintain sustainable practices."
Her summer staples will be a fourteen-dollar flatbread with veal, grass-fed beef, and pork meatballs, Fresno chilies, Asiago, and de cicco broccoli, along with grilled peaches with burrata, pine nuts, and Italian salsa verde for twelve dollars, and eggplant agnolotti with bell pepper confit and plum tomato sauce at seventeen. Seafood and salads play a big role in her current menu. The chef has also been helping out with cocktail design for libations that employ fresh juices, handmade syrups, and herbs for those seeking to stray from a California-heavy wine list.
The restaurant looks to be accommodating, with plans to start offering a full lunch menu on July 16, as well as a midday menu, and take-away service for coffee, tarts, and pastries. Breakfast and brunch service are planned to begin in August. A patio running alongside the restaurant’s frame allows for al fresco dining, while inside the bar and lounge embrace a homey vibe with fat sofas, a fireplace, bookcases filled with global gee-gaws, eclectic patchwork rugs, and a dining room with hardwood floors, separated from the patio by sliding glass doors.
The upstairs, which has an additional bar, lounge, and dining room, will only open some of the time because that’s where mother lives on select days of service and for special events. If all is successful, maybe that second floor can handle an eventual overflow. If not, we totally get to call it "doucheplex." Either way, please stay away from our camera.
Duplex opens tonight at 5:00 P.M. Check out Cartmel’s full online dinner menu.
Duplex, 8722 W. 3rd St. Los Angeles. 310-276-6223.