At Modern Luxury, connection and community define who we are. We use cookies to improve the Modern Luxury experience - to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also may share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. We take your privacy seriously and want you to be aware that we have recently made changes to our Privacy Policy, which can be found here.


Husband and Wife Duo Chef Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi Open Knife Pleat in Orange County

Jamie Gwen | June 6, 2019 |


Prepare to be dazzled. From acclaimed Los Angeles restaurateurs chef Tony Esnault and wife-partner Yassmin Sarmadi comes Knife Pleat (, the highly anticipated penthouse atelier soon to open at South Coast Plaza. The power couple is highly regarded for previous L.A. brasseries Spring and Church & State, where devotees flocked for the French chef’s glorious cuisine. Driven by the seasons, the Michelin-starred connoisseur’s gastronomic talent is evident in every dish, from his famed composed vegetables, remarkably vivid with color and texture, to his modern interpretations of classic French dishes. Hailing from the Loire Valley, Esnault honed his skills under Alain Ducasse in restaurants in Monte Carlo and Manhattan, gaining 25 years of fine dining experience. A pioneer in the DTLA restaurant scene, Sarmadi brings to the table her eye for design and charming cordiality with a level of hospitality that is unrivaled. “My family used to visit South Coast Plaza regularly when I was growing up,” she shares. “It has a nostalgic place in my heart, and so many years later, it is very special to have the extraordinary opportunity to open our restaurant there.” The tailored, spacious dining room on the third floor of the shopping mecca will possess a chic ambiance, highlighting onyx, brass and glass accents, complemented by an alabaster chandelier and a custom chef’s table. A wood-burning oven and open-kitchen layout will showcase the chef’s celebrated artistic fare. With a wine list that is expected to be second to none and a devotion to seasonally driven ingredients—think truffles and white asparagus—the debut of Knife Pleat is Orange County’s most anticipated new fine dining concept to cheer about.


Photography by: John Dole