Chef Jason Witzl of Ellie’s will open his single-table space dubbed Ginger’s, offering diners a multi-course intimate dinner, come Dec. 18.
Now taking reservations, the 12-seat restaurant serves family-style, multi-course meals at $75 per head—and it is the culmination of a chef who has built up a reputation for consistency and quality.
“I’m long-gaming this, Long Beach,” Witzl told the Post earlier this year. “I’m breaking even on this—and that’s not something I’m bragging about but trying to say I’m investing in my city and I’m investing in my neighbors. I want them to have something they can approach with happiness.”
To put “approachable” in perspective, Trois Mec—sadly given just a single star by the reaching-for-obsolescence Michelin Guide in its latest California rankings but hitting #12 on the Los Angeles Times’ recent Best Restaurants list—and its fixed-course dining options are so popular that they’re offered on a lottery system, Tuesday through Thursday, with the four-course dinner costing $85.
“When you’ve built trust among your patrons,” Witzl told the Post earlier this year, “They are more willing to invest in you.”
For those interested, Witzl will likely be eschewing the Italian-centric focus of Ellie’s and explore other cuisines, particularly French and Mexican foods—though, per the idea of a tasting menu, nothing is guaranteed other than the freshness of ingredients and the quality of the food.
Notwithstanding the massive amount of confusion that patrons seem to have when it comes to running a restaurant—the overhead of restaurants lies not in food but in build-outs, labor, insurance, etc.—the question of who restaurants are making their food for is an essential question. And Witzl wants to give folks access to types of food that they would, in any other major city, be shuttered from.
“You know, this concept has a lot of layers for me. I want it to lack pretense, I want it to be a mixture of people from all the neighborhoods of Long Beach,” Witzl said. “But, most importantly, I really believe that we are separating ourselves from what the dinner table is. We don’t talk around the dinner table anymore; we don’t gather around it anymore. We’re on our phones. We’re disconnected.”
The lament of Witzl is one he hopes to ameliorate through the food at Ginger’s. Witzl is not attempting to create a new space catering to a Los Angeles crowd; rather, he is creating a fine-dining experience specifically for Long Beach, one that is, as he said, approachable.
“There’s a way to make a very high-end dining experience also very approachable,” he said. “This is my Sunday dinner concept. I want people from Belmont Shore to sit across from people from North Long Beach and talk. Share. Witness the relationships people will make.”
Diners are permitted to add a wine pairing option for $35.
Ginger’s is located at 212 Orange Ave. Reservations can be made by emailing [email protected]; note your name and the amount of guests who will attend. All seatings are at 7 p.m.
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