Preux: French, from Old French prod, prud, prous chilalrous, capable, valiant.
That’s quite a reputation to live up to, especially for a restaurant. But when Louisiana native Joshua Kopel opened Preux & Proper on the corner of S. Spring and Main in a brick facade building accented with black iron rails, he must have had an epiphany and knew he was going to bring something scarce and special to DTLA – a bar and restaurant integrating the rich culinary traditions and swagger of the South with So Cal foodie culture. But food was only part of the plan, rather, Preux & Proper would be an experience, an immersion into a magnanimous world of hospitality and warmth. When you add renegade New American Chef Sammy Monsour and mixology mistress Kassady Wiggins to the smoldering cauldron, you get New Southern food and drink dressed in tiaras, sombreros, silver spurs and dangling Mardi Gras beads.
I had the pleasure of speaking with manager Victoria Lane in depth about the concept and philosophy of Preux & Proper. She is not only proud of their success as a business, but for the impact, they have on the DTLA culinary landscape.
Q). Tell me about the owner Joshua Kopel’s background?
A). He’s from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which is why people often mistake us for a Cajun/Creole restaurant when what we are bringing to Los Angeles is a larger, Southern experience. You will find those iconic dishes on our menus, primarily downstairs in Preux, but we are offering low country, Tex Mex and other historically significant dishes that you find in any high-end Southern restaurant.
Q) What can an Angeleno learn from the Southern tradition
A) The South is the largest region of the US. It is also the region that most perfectly represents the US as a whole due to the fact that everyone who settled in those states added to the culture. It is a melting pot of techniques, flavors, and traditions. It is also what other countries view as American Cuisine – BBQ, Mac and Cheese, etc. So, everyone’s favorite things are all found within the heading of Southern Food and a massive number of cultures were soaked up into it to form what we are cooking today.
Q).What makes Preux & Proper truly Southern?
A).The most important hallmark is the extraordinary hospitality. It is a badge of honor to feed people until they are full and treat them like family. We often go above and beyond in order to bring people unique experiences within our walls. You cannot fake passion. We are executing that daily with a great deal of love.
Q). Many people here may be apprehensive about Southern cuisine due to its reputation for being rich in calories. What can you tell them about Preux & Proper that may surprise them?
A). Southern food is, by nature, rich and full of flavor. What we are doing is sustainable and organic, which makes it a great deal more healthy. We use heritage veggies, which are the oldest seeds on the planet. We buy responsibly farmed and fished products. Not everything is fried. It’s possible to mix things up and get some nutrition in there. We have some surprising items such as our Ogo Caesar Salad made with Ogo seaweed, which is very high in nutrient value. To be frank, we all deserve a little comfort food now and then. If you are concerned about your calorie intake, save us for your cheat day. You won’t be disappointed.
With names like Sarsparilla Smoke Show, Voodoo Queen, and Thugs Passion, is it any wonder we chose Preux & Proper as our location for Cocktail of the Week? Mixology diva Kassady Wiggins has conjured the Beauty School Dropout nicknamed after a few sips as the “Ugly Betty” just for us; a refreshing blend of sloe gin, dry gin, egg whites, lemon house made grenadine and Angostura bitters. The result is a frothy yet sultry brew reminiscent of a dizzy and dreamy Southern night.
Here’s what DTLA Cocktail of the Week attendees had to say…
That little tiny drink packed a big punch, I’ll tell you that… but it’s really just another bittersweet masterpiece from P&P – Alan P.
Preux & Proper
840 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA — 90014