one chef's legacy
West Beach Cafe, Chef Bruce Marder’s first claim to fame, opened in the neighborhood of Venice, CA in 1979. He later expanded his concept with his internationally lauded Rebecca’s. What started with a handful of cash and a young chef’s burning commitment to quality and craft, quickly bloomed into a pioneer of Californian Cuisine before anyone had even heard of the concept. As Ruth Reichl explained it in her 1988 LA Times review of Marder’s career, “He was cooking California cuisine (although he certainly didn’t call it that) at his West Beach Café before Michael’s, before Spago, before Trumps. Marder had duck tacos on his menu before the term Southwestern cuisine was coined.”
During the quarantine shut down Marder began re-experimenting with his Mexican food roots. What started as a Cinco de Mayo special on the Capo Restaurant to-go menu soon developed a devoted following of his carnitas tacos and dangerously delicious margaritas sold by the liter. The resounding success led him to decide to re-imagine his Brentwood location as Baja Norté. His newly redesigned restaurant mixes vibrant colors with sultry lighting and intimate booths, just as his menu brings together the freshest local ingredients to create an elevated menu of Mexican flavors and dishes as seen through the imaginative lens of Marder’s distinguished career.
Chef Marder has always believed that the best food starts with the best ingredients. He personally hand selects produce from the Wednesday morning Santa Monica Farmer's Market, and searches for the best meat purveyors that can be found. He allows the natural and organic flavors of the products be his inspiration for each unique dish.