As Raphael Lunetta stands on the veranda of The Georgian Hotel on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, he sees heaps of possibility. For the past six months, Lunetta has been the consulting chef for the historic 83-year-old art-deco property — helping to update everything from the menus to the silverware.
This is Lunetta’s first public project since his own JiRaffe closed in Santa Monica after an amazing 18-year run. He has future plans for a new restaurant at 2424 Pico Blvd., once the home of Josie, but on most days — like this sunny Saturday morning — he’s all in at The Georgian.
“When you take on something like this, it’s a hotel,” Lunetta starts, “you have be able to accommodate the guests’ needs and exist in that environment. But I also want to apply some of the style of cutting-edge boutique hotels. I also don’t want to strong-arm people into working one way. When you force something too much, your result is feeling like it’s forced. Everything takes time.”
Lunetta is taking his time with The Georgian’s transformation. …
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