The first letter in S. Irene Virbila’s name now stands for “Scoop,” as today the L.A. Times critic drops a big one on us. Sébastien Archambault, the Perigord-born chef who has been rocking diners at RH at Andaz (and helped persuade Virbila to embrace hotel dining), is leaving the hotel, following his last service on Friday. In a coup for the Culver City cafe and market, the chef will join Thierry Perez at L’Epicerie and already has a new menu coming out on Monday. For those who miss Archambault, his cooking at L’Epicerie will still encompass the Southwestern French cooking that L.A. is in need of and on which he built his name, with a focus on Perigord and the Basque region that Perez comes from. Expect an oh-so-French crepe with escargot, along with preparations of foie gras, magret de canard, and (thank you!) duck confit, perhaps like the one that blew Virbila away at Andaz. The menu will be broken down into sections like “From the Garden” and “From the Sea,” while the original tapas menu will stay intact. Here’s hoping the refined French classics come with cafe prices.
Archambault’s duck confit Photo: Hadley Tomicki