A Westside chef goes downtown with a new all-day art cafe and gallery


Los Angeles chef D. Brandon Walker prepares for his next adventure, this time in Downtown’s South Park neighborhood. Walker is perhaps best known recently for the Mar Vista, his former local-oriented neighborhood restaurant that debuted along Venice Boulevard in 2016. Now it lands on the corner of 9th and Olive with a hybrid café space , restaurant and gallery known simply as the Arts Room.

Chief D. Brandon Walker.
D.Brandon Walker

Representatives for the new 3,500-square-foot restaurant tell Eater that Walker plans to initially operate the space as a take-out solution, with primarily breakfast and lunch items. That means everything from breakfast burritos to vegan falafel salads at lunch, with a transition to light bar-style evening service to start. By summer (or so), Walker hopes to offer a more robust dinner service with pastas, steaks and burgers – plus drinks – as well as unique tasting evenings in the adjoining Seasons LA Gallery space. . When fully realized, the austere cafe space designed by award-winning AUX architecture is expected to work cohesively with the adjoining gallery for live events and installations, and with a neighborhood eager for relatively inexpensive fast-casual options, Day and night.

The notion of nurturing a neighborhood is one that Walker knows well. Although he has spent part of his career cooking for high-end private clients like actress Helen Hunt, Walker’s real job is to build community. While his former restaurant, the Mar Vista (which Walker left in 2020) remains closed indefinitely, he still operates the nearby MV Grab & Go with an equally rounded menu and take-out model. Additionally, Walker has long advocated a pipeline from the streets to employment through his work with the St. Joseph Center, teaching cooking skills to people trying to get back on their feet. Today, Walker outfits his kitchens primarily from this program and hopes to use the art room as a place to continue his work.

Expect the Art Hall to open in late March or early April at 908 S. Olive Street downtown, inside a renovated 1915 building that’s just a block from the Ace Hotel and Freehand.

A long, narrow rendering of a wooden bar and adjoining art gallery space.

The long bar of the Art Room.
The art room.

A cut up breakfast burrito reveals its innards during the day.

A close up of D. Brandon Walker’s breakfast burrito.
MV Grab&Go.

908 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015


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