When East Meets South | Lou’Mar at Nerano, Beverly Hills, CA

By Sophie Gayot

Beverly Hills, CA, December 2023

GAYOT’s rating13/20
Cuisine: South American / Korean
Open: Wed.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-11 p.m.

Lou’Mar at Nerano is on GAYOT’s:
– Best Beverly Hills Romantic Restaurants
Best Sexy Restaurants Los Angeles
Best Craft Cocktail Bars Los Angeles

Lou’Mar at Nerano | 424-332-0439 | View Website
View Map: 9960 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Why is Lou’Mar at Nerano not your typical restaurant? Firstly, we like to say that Lou’Mar at Nerano is a speakeasy located on the second floor of Nerano restaurant — there is something of “je ne sais quoi” about speakeasies. Secondly, and primarily, because of its cuisine.

[Nerano is a project of Andy and Carlo Brandon-Gordon. It opened its doors in 2016 and has been successful since. Its consistency made it land on GAYOT’s 2023 Restaurant Awards list.]

“Lou’Mar” is the contraction of two first names: Louis and Marcos. They are the first names of chef Louis Huh and chef Marcos Spaziani. If their two names are apposed next to each other, it’s because the two chefs are officiating at the restaurant. It is utterly an unusual situation to have two chefs behind the same stove. Add to this that LA-born Huh is of Korean descent and that Spaziani was born in Venezuela from Italian parents. They are quite miles apart in culture and cuisine style.

The two worked at different restaurants until they met in the City of Angels and started mixing the flavors from their two countries on one plate in their food truck ML Eats. (Before that, Spaziani got some fame from being on Bravo’s TV show Below Deck.)

This very particular style of cooking retained the attention of Andy and Carlo Brandon-Gordon. The “restaurateur pair” called upon the “chef pair” to create a menu for this intimate space (perfect for a date night).

The results on the plate are atypical combinations, like the gochujang aioli on the Arepas Borracha, the crispy chicken skin chicarrones tossed in Korean sweet & spicy sauce, the miso Parmesan broth of the Borracha Brisket Dumpling, the Lamb Chops turned eastern with the soy glazing. Topping the list is the Paella with kimchi and pork belly (see video below).

Kimchi Seafood Paella: mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari, pork belly, green pea, saffron rice, chicharrones (video above)

If you decide to conclude your evening with sweets, you are back to a more classic experience with the Deconstructed Strawberry Shortcake.

If you opt for the apple, don’t worry it is not Eve’s Forbidden Fruit, as it is actually a lemon mousse. So, nothing bad will happen, just pleasure for your taste buds.

Lou’Mar Garita: jalapeño infused 400 Conejos Mezcal, Chambord, pineapple juice, fresh lemon juice, housemade simple syrup, dehydrated lemon wheel, charcoal salt rim (video above)

A speakeasy calls obligatorily for drinks. To distinguish themselves from the plethora of cocktails that have invaded restaurants, the team of Lou’Mar at Nerano came up with a concept of “interactive” drinks. On top of being good, they want them to be playful and fun. Expect to encounter bubbles and smoke on your glass(es).

The mixologist is here to satisfy any of all liquid delights (but, please drink in moderation).

Spa Martini: your choice of Botanist Gin or house vodka, St. Germain, fresh lemon juice, housemade simple syrup, freshly muddled cucumber and basil, cucumber ribbon (video above)