Spring (Downtown L.A.): A Pictorial Essay

What better time to visit Spring than in spring?! Downtown power couple Chef Tony Esnault and his wife (and restaurant owner) Yassmin Sarmadi have created a marvelous dining space in the Historic Core.

Although the reviews on Spring were somewhat mixed when it first opened, it’s been a while since anyone has reported back on this board. We had a recent lunch at Spring which could best described as simply marvelous.

Iced tea…

Baguette et Huile d"Olive… House-baked, with extra virgin olive oil and olives. The bread was so fresh!

Salade de Printemps: Mixed greens, snow peas, English peas, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, citrus vinaigrette… Balanced and delicious!

Soupe de Petite Pois: English pea, turnip, mint, crostini… Get this soup while it’s in season. Incredibly delightful - This tastes like the very season of spring itself. Served cool (like gazpacho), this gorgeous soup is just wonderful. Nuanced and subtle - I could have a bowl of this every meal.

Huitres Glacées du Jour: Puget Sound oysters with lemons, mignonette… Briny goodness in each slurp.

Truite: Rainbow trout, Swiss chard, baby potatoes, tomato, olive, capers, jus Provençal… Another winner. The skin on the trout is seared just so, while the flesh is achingly tender. It is a terrific fish; it’s how trout should be cooked.

Blanc de Volaille: Mary’s chicken breast, broccolini, kohlrabi, asparagus… The ‘au jus’ really make this dish shine.

Dessert time!!!

Coffee service…

Agrumes: Lemon curd, tangerine meringue, citrus chantilly, grapefruit sorbet… Refreshing and airy, while letting nature do most of the work to sate the sweet tooth - An excellent dessert!

Chocolat Monagasque: Bittersweet chocolate ganache, lemon honey sorbet, citrus vinaigrette, praline… Here, Chef Esnault pays homage to Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where he cooked for a time. What can we say? Chocolate bliss!

Morels! These are being prepared for the upcoming dinner service - Those lucky diners!

Chef Tony Esnault shows us the lean tuna and fatty tuna selections of the day…

Extremely impressive meal. This place delivers the goods when it comes to solid cooking. I think Chef Esnault is performing here at a higher level than he ever did at Patina. The seasonal emphasis on the produce is fantastic, and you can taste the quality in the sourcing of both meats and vegetables. Whatever missteps which may have occurred earlier here, I certainly did not encounter any on this visit, as our lunch was nearly perfect. Enjoy Spring!


257 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012


That soup DOES look mighty good…

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Hi @J_L,

Thanks for the review and pics (great as always). :slight_smile: I was curious about the place; but just never went with, as you said, early reviews being somewhat mixed. Good to hear they’re doing great now.

What was the fatty tuna for? Was there a particular dish at lunch or for dinner? Thanks.

Thanks for the kind words!

Sometimes I look back and realized that earlier reviews (even by ones as esteemed as our fellow FTCers) may not necessarily do justice to a restaurant in its infancy, and that a place deserves a reconsideration once it matures and gets its bearing. Such was the case with Spring.

The tuna was for dinner prep. Chef Tony is very affable and I wish him the best.

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In addition to the food, the place is just gorgeous. The table settings, flowers, everything. Thanks for sharing. And I could even afford lunch :slight_smile:

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These photos are beautiful. How do you do that?

This sounds like the type of restaurant I would love. One question, though. You mention Provençal. Is there much garlic in the food?

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I want that pea soup!

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That looks like my kind of food.

Is it comfortable? The furniture doesn’t look it.

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wow this place has been completely off my radar. Totally reminds me of some of the meals I had in Paris.

Definitely need to check this place out. Thanks!

The food and setting were very inspiring to me as a amateur food photographer indeed!

I would describe the cooking at Spring as subdued and skillful. Not much garlic was detected by my tastebuds during the meal (certainly no overuse of it, at least).

The dining area for lunch is the main atrium. Seats are not padded, but are comfortable. And I’m not sure how dinner customers are seated…

That English pea soup was one of the best bites (slurps?) of 2017 for me so far.

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Went for lunch and had a really nice meal. Beautiful dining room with natural light coming in through the glass ceilings. Almost feels like you’re outside even though it’s closed in.

They have a lunch prix fixe menu for $25 which consists of an app, entree and dessert. Bad thing is that there are no choices. You just get what’s on the menu that day. Wife ordered the lunch menu while I ordered a la carte to try some different dishes.

Green salad was the app for the lunch menu. Forgot to take pic but it was green leaf lettuce with cucumber and tomatoes with lemon vinaigrette. Tasty, fresh, and good but nothing memorable.

I ordered the legumes de saison to start. Loved loved loved this dish. Lots of different seasonal vegetables cooked in different methods all dressed in a very tasty sauce.

For the entree, the prix fixe menu came with the Mary’s chicken breast. Really nice flavors from the jus and the vegetables were very nice. Unfortunately, the chicken came out way over cooked and super dry. We actually had to send it back but the 2nd one was much better. So they clearly know how to cook a chicken right. Seems like the kitchen just snoozed on it the first time and let it dry out.

I got the trout which was super tasty. The skin could have been a little crispier but was an excellent dish nonetheless. And only at $18, thought it was a fantastic value.

For dessert, the lunch menu brought us a chocolate granache with cherry sorbet. Solid but nothing amazing.

We also ordered a baguette. Was really fantastic, but it is one of the only things that’s not made in house. It’s from Breadbar. Comes with olive oil instead of butter. We asked for some butter and they gladly brought some out. Unfortunately, it’s not french butter.

Will definitely be back to try some of their other dishes. The lunch menu is really a fantastic deal at $25, just wish that they would give you a few choices.


Thanks for reporting back! No pea soup today?

No pea soup unfortunately

I think the legumes de saison has been the best dish at Spring by far for me. Everything else is okay but not memorable.

Has anyone been to Spring lately / for dinner? Seems like most of the reports have been from lunch, so wondering if that is the move here. Also curious about any thoughts on the dinner tasting menu vs a la carte.


Spring is actually a remarkable restaurant that I don’t visit often enough because my tastes just don’t lean French that often, for whatever reason.

But dinner there is a magnificent affair. I can scarcely think of a dish more transportive than the duck breast I had there; precisely the way duck tastes in Paris somehow.

In general, although it’s not a place I visit as often as my other favorites (also due to the fact that they close so unceremoniously early), I was skeptical of it for a long while, but having actually gone, I felt I could see how Mr. Gold could have ranked is the #4 restaurant in the city last year.

I went over the summer for dinner and it was absolutely lovely from beginning to end. I had the seasonal crudo dish to start, the legumes, steak, and finished with a chocolate dessert that was very earthy and not that sweet.

They are trying to generate business over lunch with their pricing, so QPR is better that way, but dinner is worth it.


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Awesome. Thanks @FoodDreams & @DTLAeater.

It certainly looks grand. Seems like it might be just the ticket for a nice holiday celebration meal.