One of Los Angeles' most admired restaurateurs & chefs, Agostino Sciandri, has unveiled his signature Italian cuisine atop downtown's Bunker Hill with Vespaio. Set on the ground floor of The Emerson, Bunker Hill's stunning luxury apartment building by premier real estate developer Related California, the highly anticipated Vespaio debuts in Los Angeles' cultural core across from the Museum of Contemporary Art, next to the Broad Museum (opening September 2015), and steps from The Music Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
"Vespaio is a culmination of my father's life work—an elevated, elegant and organic project that reflects the rarified and diverse environment on Bunker Hill," says managing partner Sandro Sciandri. "There is something for everyone here. Diners can enjoy a breakfast of coffee and pastries, lunch after a day at the Broad Museum or a multi-course Italian dinner before catching a performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall. No other venue in the neighborhood fulfills these many roles."
Vespaio offers a full cocktail, beer and wine list, including happy hour specials. The kitchen creates standout Italian selections from the rotisserie and wood-burning oven, as well as assortments of pastas and pizzas. Highlights include: baby kale, beef heart tomatoes, avocado, Gorgonzola, EVOO; seared beef carpaccio, watercress, large capers, Parmigiano, horseradish dressing; charred octopus, fingerling potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes; 32 oz. Snake River farms American Wagyu top sirloin; homemade potato topini, scampi, artichokes, oven-roasted tomatoes; tagliatelle Verdi, old fashioned beef + porcini ragu; lumaconi, mixed seafood saffron sauce; baked sea bream, sliced potatoes, olives, zucchini, red onions, EVOO.
Dining Amenities at the Emerson:
The Emerson boasts unsurpassed amenities and services including a private residence penthouse lounge and terrace, outdoor pool and 24-hour attended lobby with concierge. With the opening of Vespaio, these amenities—commensurate with those of fine luxury hotels—now include exclusive food services for The Emerson's 271 residences. Those living at The Emerson have access to in-room dining, catering for on-site events and special discounts on seasonal offerings.
"Related is excited to introduce Vespaio to the residents of The Emerson and the downtown Los Angeles community," said Gino Canori, executive vice president of development for Related California Urban Residential. "The new concept by celebrated chef Agostino Sciandri is a natural fit for our luxury residential building and our residents' lifestyle. In addition to premier amenities and services, The Emerson now boasts a downtown culinary destination for visitors to enjoy and exclusive culinary offerings for our residents who can experience delicious Italian cuisine in the restaurant, in their residence or by hosting a gathering in one of the great indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces."
The on-premises catering from Vespaio is especially attractive to residents. They may choose food service in their homes or in the property's extraordinary community spaces, including the penthouse terrace. Here, residents and guests interact with a lounge, dining area, community table and BBQ while enjoying the inspiring view 20 stories above Bunker Hill. Related has a stellar reputation for collaborating with top chefs and restaurateurs at its distinctive condominium and rental residences. In Los Angeles, it is among the first to do so.
In addition to Vespaio, Related has developed luxury residential tower The Century in Century City, which is home to David Myer's acclaimed Hinoki & The Bird. In New York City, Related's Time Warner Center hosts the most Michelin stars under one roof: chef Thomas Keller's Per Se and Bouchon Bakery, chef Michael Lomonaco's Porter House New York, chef Masayoshi Takayama's Masa and Bar Masa and chef Marc Murphy's Landmarc.
Designed by Ralph Gentile Architects, Vespaio is an homage to the sensual Mediterranean lifestyle. Reflecting the restaurant's light, modern Italian fare, the interiors are reminiscent of Italian yachts and the glorious Riva Aquarama speedboats of the 1960s—a clever mash-up of Gio Ponti and Italian mid-century men's fashion, rendered in timeless materials such as marble and antique brass. Oceanic hues and metallic finishes carry through the space with fabric and patterns reminiscent of tailored men's pocket squares of the 1980s.
"Ago wanted a space that is enjoyed day and night, inside and out," said Ralph Gentile. "With five distinct areas in the restaurant, guests can enjoy a leisurely cappuccino in the morning, a brisk business lunch, a lazy Campari aperitivo on the patio or a fine meal followed by a nightcap after a concert or art opening. Of course, Italian fine dining is what Ago is best known for, which makes this restaurant such a draw." Vespaio's most eye-catching feature is its 1,800-square-foot patio with a stunning fire feature and four vaulted awnings that retract to allow for year-round dining.
About Agostino Sciandri:
Agostino Sciandri, the popular Italian chef who brought the true flavor of Tuscany to Los Angeles, continues to endear himself to foodies. His namesake restaurant, AGO, in West Hollywood, represents the culmination of Sciandri's 45 years in the restaurant industry and his lifelong passion for Northern Italian cuisine. Born in the countryside of Tuscany, Sciandri initially decided to become a chef as a way to travel and see the world. After graduating from the School of Hotel and Catering in Bellagio, he perfected his craft at some of London's most renowned restaurants. He then returned to Italy for three years to teach at the Principe de Piedmonte School of Modern Italian Cuisine. Chef Sciandri debuted his culinary artistry in Los Angeles in 1985 as executive chef at Il Giardino, one of Beverly Hills' most notable restaurants, before opening Toscana to rave reviews three years later.
As his cuisine gained recognition in Los Angeles, he cultivated a clientele of food lovers who followed him from the Westside eatery to open AGO. In addition to AGO West Hollywood, Sciandri owns and manages four other popular Los Angeles restaurants: Toscanova in Century City and Calabasas, Sor Tino in Brentwood and Caffé Roma in Beverly Hills.
About The Emerson:
Rising 20 stories above the epicenter of Los Angeles' arts and culture scene, The Emerson unifies world-class architecture, exquisite design and an ideal location for young professionals and families alike. Breathtaking panoramic views of the entire city from residences and amenity spaces create an elegant setting for city living and instill a feeling of connectivity to downtown Los Angeles.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Music Center, The Museum of Contemporary Art and Grand Park are all within walking distance of The Emerson, making this building the most appealing to the artistic individual. Apartment interiors boast open kitchens with Caesarstone counters, a handcrafted Heath Ceramics tile backsplash, walnut cabinetry and premium stainless-steel appliances by Fisher & Paykel and Bosch.
The sumptuous baths are appointed with a marble tub surround and vanity top, while the living spaces include PAR-KY wood plank flooring and in-home washers and dryers. An expansive suite of amenities enhance residents' lifestyles. Set against a backdrop of sparkling views, a penthouse lounge with an outdoor room tops off downtown living with a bar area, custom billiards table by Marmol Radziner, as well as a catering kitchen and dining area for private events. The penthouse area has a double-sided fireplace, barbecues with grilling areas, plush outdoor seating and two outdoor TVs.
Residents can bask in the California sun year-round at the outdoor pool and spa with lounge furnishings and yet another outdoor barbecue for entertaining. The public amenity spaces are designed with their own distinctive combination of materials and finishes utilizing different textures, forms and surfaces to mirror the exterior of the building. Marmol Radziner drew their inspiration from the unique design of the flourishing art scene surrounding them, creating custom pieces to reside in the lobby and penthouse lounge.
About Related California
Related California, the West Coast affiliate of Related Companies, is a fully integrated real estate firm that develops multifamily residential and mixed-use properties in California. Since 1989, Related California has undertaken a range of transformational developments from best-in-class luxury high-rise residential properties to the redevelopment of obsolete public housing, spanning a broad spectrum of urban infill, affordable, mixed-income and market rate multifamily developments. The company has completed more than 9,800 residences and has a track record of consistently developing communities that represent industry benchmarks in design, construction, sustainability and property management. Related California has a long history of community partnership, having collaborated with more than 20 municipalities and more than 25 non-profit organizations throughout California. Related California has successfully developed and managed a broad range of property types throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties. Related California has developed more than $2.9 billion in assets. For more information about Related California, visit www.relatedcalifornia.com.