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Lemon Grove | Marcel Vigneron Helms the Restaurant at Members' Club, The Aster

A conversation with the chef.

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Lemon Grove is located on the roof of boutique Hollywood hotel The Aster, which can be found at the intersection Vine St and Yucca St. The rooftop restaurant is under the direction of celebrity Chef Marcel Vigneron, who has created a seasonal menu inspired by California agricultural traditions specific to Los Angeles, and will be building meals from locally-sourced ingredients from sustainable produce suppliers, ranchers, and fisheries. Guests can look forward to enjoying vibrant dinner dishes such as Lemon Pasta, Hamachi Carpaccio Pizza, Grilled Whole Branzino, along with lunch, brunch, and dessert menus.

Flaunt spoke with Vigneron about his career and his enthusiasm to be leading Lemon Grove into the culinary world within Los Angeles.

How did your culinary journey from Top Chef lead you to The Aster and Lemon Grove?

Other than the incredibly gorgeous venue and the opportunity to work with Stockdale Capital as well as Salt Hotels, it was being given the chance to build my own team from scratch and do something for The City Of LA. I love that when you do an opening, you get to break the mold and step into something completely new, no bad habits, no disgruntled employees, just one team, one dream. I love having the ability to help design something fresh from the start and to do it for the city I love so much and get to call home! I have always been very passionate about my craft and as a Chef you have to be a nurturer by nature but now that I am a parent that nurturing aspect of my culinary style has elevated to new heights that is reflected through the attention to detail in my cuisine as well as how I treat not only my guests but also my staff. I think this newfound place in my life along with the mindfulness and intention that goes into every detail from decor to service, to the cuisine makes not only dining but also experiencing any of our outlets here at The Aster a World Class Experience.

Lemon Grove has a market-to-table approach—how does this curate a unique experience?

The inspiration for the cuisine at The Lemon Grove is more than local seasonal produce, sustainable fisheries, and the ranchers that we work closely with and support. It is influenced and inspired by the deep-rooted gastronomic traditions and the melting pot of cultures that make up our beautiful city of Angels, at The Lemon Grove and The Aster, we celebrate the diversity of the ever-changing culinary landscape of Hollywood. Even the name of the restaurant itself, The Lemon Grove, pays homage to the history of the land before it came to be the alluring city as we know it today. Before Hollywood was developed it was actually a lemon grove, and we at The Aster enjoy respecting our roots whilst enjoying the present and embracing our bright future! The Lemon Grove draws its inspiration not only from the soil where these lemon groves grew, but the concrete and graffiti that currently occupies the land, the oceans that hug our beautiful beaches, and even the smog filled skies, all are used as culinary muses for our cuisine. Most importantly, our vision of the Lemon Grove is to embrace our City of Angels and make them proud. Our Cuisine is an interpretation of nature that is meant to satisfy the soul and bring good health and nourishment to all of the Angels that consume it!

 If you could sum up the Aster in one dish on the Lemon Grove menu what would it be and why?If I had to sum up The Aster in one dish on the Lemon Grove menu that would have to be the Lemon Pasta. Not only is it one of my favorite dishes on the menu, but it emulates The Aster as it is wildly unique yet classically refined, just like the Hotel. In the same way that The Aster celebrates diversity, our Lemon Pasta is a multicultural melting pot of a dish. The fresh chitarra pasta, "chitarra" meaning guitar in Italian, is inspired by our neighbors here in Hollywood over at Capital Records, and the Tom kha sauce is a little nod to our other neighbors down the street in Thai Town. The turmeric in the dish lends itself to our wellness program at The Aster. Lastly, this dish is made with love, and there is much heart that was put into the creation of not only this dish, but the overall experience we are so proud to offer all who visit The Aster.

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