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Turning Tables: Inside the Sprawling New Location of Grand Award–Winning Wally's

The retail and restaurant concept expands to Santa Monica. Plus, Grand Award Saison in San Francisco opens Angler, and Redd in Napa Wine Country closes
Wally's Santa Monica, like its other Grand Award–winning outpost, is a wine lover's treasure trove.
Photo by: Courtesy of Wally's
Wally's Santa Monica, like its other Grand Award–winning outpost, is a wine lover's treasure trove.

Julie Harans, Brianne Garrett
Posted: October 11, 2018

Wally's Opens Restaurant and Store in Santa Monica

On Oct. 6, Grand Award–winning restaurant and wine shop Wally's Beverly Hills opened a new location in Santa Monica, Calif. Owner Christian Navarro told Wine Spectator this is the first step in expanding his restaurant-retail hybrid, which proved a "grand-slam home-run success" in Beverly Hills, he said. "We have a deep-rooted loyal client base, it's just us being able to touch them on a day-to-day basis," Navarro said.

The Santa Monica space is 50 percent larger than the one in Beverly Hills, allowing for a wine list of 4,500 to 5,000 selections. There's an impressive 130 wines available by the glass across a broad range of price points, from $13 to several hundred dollars for Coravin pours. The by-the-bottle selections go deep into Burgundy with many prestigious producers and verticals, as well as Bordeaux, California, Italy, Champagne and the Rhône Valley, among other strengths. Both locations' wine programs are managed by wine director Matthew Turner.

Executive chef David Féau is serving a similar menu to that of the Beverly Hills location, while taking advantage of this outpost's robata-style grill, rotisserie station and wood-burning pizza oven. In addition to the full-service restaurant, Wally's signature retail offerings of charcuterie, cheese, truffles and other edible gourmet items are available.

The opening comes two months after the closure of the original Wally's Wine & Spirits retail shop in Westwood, Calif., which opened in 1968. Navarro and his partners are looking to bring Wally's to several cities around the globe, such as New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Miami and Las Vegas.—J.H.

Grand Award–Winning Saison Gets a Casual Spinoff

Bonjwing Lee
Like its sister restaurant Saison, Angler will be committed to a sustainable menu.

The team behind Grand Award winner Saison opened Angler in San Francisco in September. Led by co-owner and chef Joshua Skenes, the casual spinoff to Saison serves à la carte, family-style, seafood-focused fare.

The wine program is spearheaded by co-owner and wine director Mark Bright and head sommelier Morgan Harris. Like Saison, Angler's 1,800-selection wine list highlights Burgundy, as well as the Northern Rhône. "Syrah is one of those grapes that unfortunately doesn't have the reputation or the prestige of Cabernet or Pinot Noir, and I think it should," Bright told Wine Spectator. The team plans to grow the wine list to 4,000 selections.—B.G.

Redd, California Wine Country Favorite, Closes

Redd, a pioneering restaurant in Napa Valley, closed Oct. 7 after operating for 13 years in Yountville, Calif. Chef Richard Reddington opened Redd in 2005, and it quickly earned the patronage of local vintners and visitors alike for its wine-friendly comfort food.

Reddington drew from his French training in kitchens such as Best of Award of Excellence winner Auberge du Soleil Restaurant in Rutherford, Calif., as well as from global cuisines, Asian styles in particular.

Redd had a wine list of more than 500 selections, mostly from California and France. The restaurant earned an Award of Excellence in 2006, eventually getting promoted to a Best of Award of Excellence, which it held until 2010. Reddington will continue operating his nearby pizzeria, Redd Wood.—J.H.

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