Ari Taymor and Ashleigh Parsons

Ari Taymor and Ashleigh Parsons are the executive chef and creative director, respectively, at ALMA in downtown Los Angeles. After meeting in San Francisco, the friends bonded while working at a renowned farm/restaurant in Southern France, and later hosted a series of popular pop-up dinners in LA. Three years ago, ALMA was born, and was selected as Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant in America 2013. We talked to Ashleigh about how the two grew their farm-to-table vision into a reality.

What was behind your creative vision for ALMA?

Ari and I both had the opportunity to stage at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Southern France called La Chassagnette. It is located in the Carmargue, on 500 acres of land, and everything served for lunch and dinner comes straight from the garden, into the restaurant. The space is magical and very special, and when we opened ALMA in the hyper-urban, bustling neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles, we were interested in creating a tiny oasis that would reference the peaceful experience in Arles.  

How’d you go about making your vision a reality?

We jumped and we believed in the vision. Once we decided we were opening a restaurant, it was important to stay dedicated, despite the challenges and obstacles that we have faced. ALMA has been a community effort from the beginning and it has been with the support of the community that we have been able to establish ourselves as a vibrant, neighborhood restaurant. 

What’s a quick, at-home meal so easy even we could make it?

Eggs. All about eggs. My favorite is the slow cooked seven-minute egg. Simply boil water, add eggs for seven minutes, and transfer eggs to ice bath for three minutes. Then peel, add sea salt and enjoy over salad, quinoa or anything, really. 

What’s your food guilty pleasure?

Thai food. My favorite spot in LA is Song, and I could eat Thai food most nights of the week and be content. 

How do the Kingsley Rowe frames you chose reflect your personal style?

Kingsley Rowe is a local, LA based company, and I try to support LA based designers as much as possible. The fashion in this city is sort of exploding right now. It's a very exciting time to be in LA!

Check out ALMA’s menu at, and whet your appetite at @almarestaurant.