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The Herbal Chef owner Chris Sayegh is opening a new bar and eventual restaurant called Nostalgia in Santa Monica, located at 1326 Pico Blvd.
Nostalgia will offer CBD-infused drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, paired with food from the 1970s to the early 2000s. None of the food will have any CBD or THC, but Sayegh will host private, members-only dinners for about $295 per person. The restaurant is expected to open by January 2022, according to the restaurant’s Instagram. Nostalgia will replace the Speak Easy with a 3,000 square-foot interior and a 3,000 square-foot patio, open from noon to 2 am daily.
The new restaurant will start as a lounge hangout before eventually developing into a full-service restaurant. When it does open, bartenders will have various old fashioned based on the season. Customers can also find alcoholic childhood classics such as boozy Otter Pops and Capri Suns. This was made possible by the recent California Assembly Bill 45 passing in October 2021, which reversed the decision to ban CBD cocktails.
As for food, the restaurant will start with a smaller menu packed with elegance. Customers can expect to find snacks such as a caviar-topped lobster roll or branzino fish and chips, while dips and vegetables will vary by season. For dessert, the restaurant will have ice cream push pops. As mentioned, none of the food will contain CBD or THC, mainly because the service is still in a grey area within the County. The act is not technically allowed, but there are legal ways around it.
Sayegh has worked under several well-known chefs to get to this point, including at Josiah Citrin’s Michelin-starred Melisse. He took what he learned and has spent over a decade creating CBD or THC-infused meals throughout Los Angeles County as The Herbal Chef. Now he gets ready to open his first brick-and-mortar in which he describes as “a blast from the past, but more modernized.”
“The Herbal Chef has grown so much,” Sayegh tells Eater LA. “We’re getting 200 emails a month from people around the United States. We’re hiring chefs in other states, training them, and giving them cannabis knowledge. They’re very well accomplished chefs already. We’re basically implementing the cannabis portion of it all, showing them our steps of service and how we operate.”