Frederic and Nicolas Meschin
A little over a decade ago, the glass wine Cruvinet now central to one of Los Angeles’ most famed restaurants was sitting in a downtown parking lot destined for the dumpster. (For those not in training to be a sommelier, Cruvinet is the Rolls-Royce of wine preserving and dispensing systems.) But when brothers Frederic and Nicolas Meschin happened to spot it one evening, Frederic insisted they drag it home and find a way to restore it. The dilapidated Cruvinet was sent to Santa Barbara where it was warmly welcomed home – apparently this was the first piece the manufacturer had ever created – and then shipped back to Los Angeles, where the brothers used it to help launch their new restaurant, The Little Door, which featured one of the city’s first wine bars.
It is this vision, passion and tenacity that continue to guide Frederic and Nicolas Meschin after more than twenty years in the business. These traits were instilled in the brothers at an early age when Frederic and Nicholas helped harvest grapes at a local vineyard near their hometown outside of Bordeaux. With the culinary resources of France at their fingertips, Frederic and Nicolas’ childhood was steeped in their close family’s love for wine, food and sharing stories around the table.
When the brothers left France for America, they channeled their love of food and wine into a business to become part of the burgeoning Los Angeles cultural scene. In less than a year, they opened their first venue, the restaurant/cabaret Flaming Colossus. Using their entrepreneurial skills and natural understanding of human nature, Frederic and Nicolas created a clandestine culture surrounding the elite club, which instantly sparked a contagious buzz and launched them to the forefront of LA’s nightlife scene.
With a consistent following of celebrities, influencers and international travelers, Frederic and Nicolas opened their next Hollywood enterprise Po-Na-Na Souk. This Moroccan-inspired club entertained with international fare and exotic dancers and led to the brothers’ next venture Bo Kaos. With a small kitchen manned by Frederic in the back, this eclectic Beverly Hills supper club prospered for seven years before the Meschin brothers discovered a struggling restaurant on Los Angeles’ Third Street. The potential of the space inspired Frederic and Nicolas and led them to envision a place where they could create a new dining experience for Angelenos.
Now a LA institution, The Little Door is less like a restaurant and more like a religion for the two brothers. When they speak of their decade old establishment, they don’t refer to the food or the menu (despite the fact that it has won countless award for its organic French-Mediterranean cuisine) – they speak of educating the palette, speaking to the soul and opening hearts around the table.
As The Little Door continues to evolve, the Meschin brothers are now bringing this same philosophy to their newest enterprise, Little Next Door. Opened in September 2006, this French deli concept marks a departure for the brothers who have traditionally favored secluded locations without even so much as a sign. Little Next Door proudly opens onto the bustling Third Street with large glass doors and an exhibition kitchen enabling visitors to watch bakers whip up the homemade croissants and artisan goods for sale.
After decades in the business, the Meschin brothers opened Little Next Door because they firmly believe that “every sandwich has its own story.” With years of their own stories to tell, Frederic and Nicolas Meschin continue to keep the Los Angeles culinary scene fresh, vibrant and constantly evolving.
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