The LA Arts District welcomes a refreshing culinary venture: Le Champ, a casual French wine bar set to invigorate the local gastronomic landscape. Having opened its doors on October 25, Le Champ offers an approachable menu infused with Parisian flair. This marks a departure from the high-end dining experiences that often characterize the area.
Co-owners Matt Bronfeld and Justin Hilbert, known for their impressive stints at Matthew Kenney Cuisine, envisioned Le Champ as an homage to simplicity and quality. The inspiration stems from their appreciation for relaxed outdoor spaces, a contrast to LA’s assortment of upscale rooftop bars.
Situated on East Fifth Street, the 9,000-square-foot property underwent minimal renovations, transforming into a dual-purpose venue featuring a wine bar and a dedicated event space. Guests are greeted by an alligator leather-finished bar, an antique salvaged from a North Carolina barn, setting the tone for the eclectic decor that follows.
Beyond the lobby, a 3,000-square-foot open-air seating area unfolds. A patio capable of hosting 100 guests among vintage furnishings and a charming fountain, cultivating a laid-back atmosphere for either a drink or a full meal.
The founders’ East Coast roots influenced the ambiance, drawing particularly from a “dirty, crusty wine bar” in Miami known as Lagniappe. This influence is palpable in the hand-drawn lion logo of Le Champ, a symbol that resonates with the character of their unique bar.
While primarily a wine bar, Le Champ does not compromise on its culinary offerings. Justin Hilbert, the former executive chef at the Michelin-starred Maude, leads the kitchen, bringing his extensive experience from New York’s esteemed establishments like WD~50 and Gwynnett St. Eschewing the pressures of high-end dining, Hilbert now embraces a menu that’s “not anything too serious,” focusing instead on quality and enjoyment.
Le Champ’s patrons can anticipate a diverse range of snack options, including cheeses, charcuterie, and raw oysters, alongside staple casuals like burgers and fries. A standout feature is the rotating plats du jour, reflecting Hilbert’s spontaneous culinary spirit. “Every day is kind of a surprise. I’m a very moody chef,” he admits, emphasizing his preference for variety over routine.
Complementing the food is a meticulously curated list of natural wines, with offerings under $80 to keep the experience affordable without compromising on taste. The commitment to value extends to their entire menu, ensuring guests receive excellent food and drinks at a fair price. This is a deliberate move that is appreciated in the current economic climate.
Le Champ operates with a lean team dedicated to providing the intimate and perfect service reflective of Bronfeld and Hilbert’s philosophy. The duo is starting with what they envision for their establishment, aiming to offer an adaptable space that resonates with patrons’ preferences.
With its commitment to casual dining without sacrificing quality, Le Champ reflects the evolving preferences of diners, marking a new chapter in the LA Arts District’s vibrant culinary scene.
Visit Le Champ at 1200 E. Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. Opening hours extend from noon to 9 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday; noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Secure your spot through reservations available on Resy.