Although elysian is a "secret" (and only occassional) restaurant, it's a pretty open one: the New York Times' T Magazine wrote them up as did ARTFORUM, and if you live here in L.A. and have any connection to the restaurant business or art world chances are you know someone who's dined there. Or you've been lucky enough to do so yourself.
So it's not really a secret.
And yet, it still feels like one. The discreet door on a deadend street in an industrial part of town opens up to a dining room garden with the sky for a ceiling. It's a sublime paradise that also serves delicious, familiar food. The familiar part comes from Los Angeles chefs' proclivity for seasonal farmers' market freshness with plenty of lusty olive oil and herbs in the mix. David Thorne and his motley crew (there are many familiar faces here) execute their take on this very L.A. style of food with finesse.
The more I think about it, elysian really is like a secret. Because you want to keep it to yourself, but you also can't help but blab about it.
As in: I want you all to know how special and amazing it is and join me and a few dozen others on an occassional Monday evening for delightful delicousness. But I also don't want too many people to know about elysian because I don't want its intimacy to morph into something else. Nor do I want to wait too long for a dinner reservation.
So, follow them, and dine with them. But tread lightly, respect, and savor it.