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Los Angeles native Micah Wexler started his career young, cooking for acclaimed Italian chef Gino Angelini at just 15. When he was a bit older, he worked for two other heavyweights, Joël Robuchon and Tom Colicchio, both of whom greatly influenced his craft. At Mezze, the chef, now 29, translates his fascination with the varied cuisines of the Middle East and Mediterranean into a menu that reflects his own California roots while incorporating diverse ingredients such as sea urchin and black truffles. “For me, innovation and presentation come after making sure the food tastes good,” says Wexler. Not that his menu is short on originality, featuring intriguing dishes such as morel mushrooms with smoked oats and bacon, and wood-fired Cornish game hen exotically scented with zaatar. Wexler doesn’t think that his age was a factor in shaping his cooking style, but like the best young trailblazers, he isn’t afraid to do away with tired traditions. “You don’t have to play by the same old rules of having filet [mignon] and tuna on your menu,” he says.
Mezze, 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310.657.4103