Ori Menashe - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival


Ori Menashe

Bestia - Los Angeles, CA

Although born in Los Angeles, Ori Menashe spent his formative years in Israel. He grew up traveling with his family and was exposed to fine dining across the globe, but it wasn’t until his year-long sojourn to South America with friends, that he realized his passion for cooking.

Menashe returned to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue a culinary career. He landed his first kitchen job at an Israeli cafe and then took a job at La Terza, where Genevieve Gergis was a hostess. They would go on to become husband and wife and restaurant power couple. From there, Menashe spent time in the kitchens of Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza, All’ Angelo, and under legendary chef Gino Angelini at Angelini Osteria, where Menashe worked for four years as chef de cuisine.

In 2010, Menashe and Gergis pursued their dream of opening their first restaurant together—Bestia. The multiregional, rustic Italian restaurant in the DTLA district focuses on a “from scratch” approach, offering house-made charcuterie, in addition to handmade pasta and pizza. And after eight years, it is still one of the hottest reservations in town.

In 2018, Menashe and Gergis opened their highly anticipated second project, Bavel, a Middle Eastern restaurant just blocks away from Bestia. With family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Menashe and Gergis always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisines of their heritage. Bavel brings together the flavors and dishes they grew up with while adding a new perspective on the cuisine. When not in the kitchen, Menashe and Gergis can be found spending time with their daughter, Saffron.