When it comes to wine in L.A., few names carry as much weight as Wally’s. Wally’s was founded in 1968 as a neighborhood wine and liquor store in West LA. Since then, long-time Wally’s President, Christian Navarro, and his team have worked for decades to be the “communicators of all things delicious.” As a result, it’s never been a better time to soak up flavor from Wally’s two newest Westside outposts.
The company entered a new era in 2013. Wally’s original owner, Steve Wallace, sold his company to GUESS founders Maurice and Paul Marciano, who partnered with Christian Navarro. Christian started as a salesperson in 1991 and built a reputation as “sommelier to the stars,” sourcing rare bottles for celebrities like Jack Nicholson and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The famously fashionable Marciano brothers and Navarro set out to “to revolutionize the wine & food world.” To end 2014, they launched a Wally’s location in Beverly Hills, combining a restaurant, wine bar, and gourmet market featuring wall-to-wall wine bottles. They built on that success in 2018, delivering similarly multifaceted offerings to Santa Monica.
Wally’s Beverly Hills has received the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award for the past two years, joining an elite global group of less than 100 restaurants to enjoy such an honor. Considering more than 120 wines by the glass span four pages, they devote a menu category just to Kosher wines, and both spirits and cocktails flow, no diner’s palate should go parched.
Wally’s California-French inspired menus change monthly. Dishes range from avocado and citrus salad with citrus miso dressing to a massive 38-ounce cote de boeuf served with bone marrow, pomme Maxim and charred broccolini. Any of the 300+ cheeses and charcuteries in the gourmet market is also fair game. Regardless of the order, Wally’s can pair the proper wine.
The Marciano brothers and Navarro designed Wally’s to be a “one-stop shop for all things delicious,” but Wally’s is not a catchall. As they say, “We don’t have everything, just the best of everything.” That definition extends to luxurious Calvisius caviar and Truffle Brothers products.
Wally’s may feel fully formed after five decades, but the vision is constantly growing and evolving. The Marciano brothers and Navarro also plan further expansion to cities like Chicago, Dallas, New York City, and San Francisco, proving flavor can be curated, but not contained.
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