When CH Projects’ new luxury steakhouse Born & Raised opens in late summer, its $6.5 million, two year buildout will clock in at $4 million higher and nearly a year longer than its original budget and timeline. But the hospitality group is betting that the extra time and expense will be worth it. With an established presence in Little Italy through Ironside, Craft & Commerce, False Idol and UnderBelly, founder Arsalun Tafazoli says that they took on the project in part to save the space, the iconic Nelson Photo Supply building, from a potential fate as a corporate chain restaurant — fearing that the beloved but booming neighborhood’s future may look more and more like the tourist-saturated Gaslamp.
Calling the restaurant their homage to the “glory days of dining,” Born & Raised is modeled after the classic steakhouses that helped shape America’s culinary history, only souped-up with all the bells and whistles that this admittedly polarizing group is known for. BASILE Studio’s Paul Basile, who has designed most of CH Projects’ high-profile spots, says that the steakhouse was exponentially harder to build than Polite Provisions — citing its size, at 10,000-square-feet that spans a formal dining room, rooftop bar and lounge, and the level of custom detail involved in the “mid-century modern meets art deco” design which ranges from teak and walnut-clad dining spaces to Italian leather booths, brass table bases topped with green marble, and intricate terrazzo flooring.
Taking on its ambitious menu is CH Projects’ longtime partner and executive chef Jason McLeod, who will lead the culinary program aided by three strong sous chefs. After extensive research, McLeod will source his beef from reputable Creekstone Farms out of Kansas as well as 100% grassfed ranches in California and Colorado. There will be a butcher station in view of the dining room, in front of a glassed-in dry-aging room that will hold 750 pounds of beef from 28 to 31 days, with even duck, pork and meatballs also getting the dry-age treatment. Steaks will run from $30 to $120, cooked in a classic steakhouse broiler or a charcoal-powered Spanish Josper oven.
Born & Raised is also bringing back tableside service, with everything from beef tartare to omelets and Caesar salad being prepared in front of diners. American and Japanese Wagyu beef will be seared tableside over binchotan charcoal and a special cocktail cart will mix up martinis in glasses chilled with liquid nitrogen. Even desserts will be wheeled around to tables on an old school cart. CH Projects’ Anthony Schmidt will oversee the bar program, which will house one of the city’s largest collections of scotch, and the wine list will have a good selection of champagne to pair with private label caviar. Newly announced for the food and beverage team is the hospitality group’s first in-house sommelier Rafael Peterson (Bracero, Addison), plus pastry chef Elizabeth Olson (Ironside, Nine-Ten) and general manager Brook Stanford, an alum of Las Vegas steakhouses including Michael Mina’s StripSteak, Fix at The Bellagio and The Capital Grille.