“As soon as you walk into our Melrose Avenue bungalow, you feel the carefree sophistication of whimsical Europe mixed with the theater and pizazz of West Hollywood,” says Marissa Hermer. Having cut her teeth under Ian Schrager across various hospitality concepts in London and New York, the co-owner and operator of Olivetta packed her bags for Los Angeles, where she and her husband have been based for the past six years.
Situated on WeHo’s Restaurant Row, the rich interiors were imagined by Tom Parker of Fettle Design, outfitting each convivial dining space with jewel-toned leathers and velvets, and bright, airy spaces like the sunroom, which evokes a Spanish courtyard. The dimly lit barroom is popular with the nightcap crowd thanks to sultry touches—a mohair wall, for instance—and master mixologist Melina Meza’s innovative concoctions like the Dirty Martini with bleu cheese-infused dry vermouth, or a vibrant tequila-based drink composed of unusual ingredients ranging from rainbow carrot to jasmine honey.
Chef Laurie Hudson’s coastal European menu captures the spirit of being on holiday while highlighting locally sourced ingredients. “Our culinary ethos is letting the ingredient shine,” Hermer says. “It’s not what we can add to a dish, it’s what can we take away? It’s that simple and that arduous.” For example, the grilled branzino, a simple dish with lemon and olive oil, is reinvented by zesting and boiling the lemon three times to perfume the dish with the aroma.
In the latest installment of Designing Delicious, we visit Olivetta.