As one of the visionaries behind ThinkFoodGroup’s Somni—housed within the SLS Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills—Creative Director Aitor Zabala redefines the standard of fine dining in Los Angeles. Somni, meaning “dream” in Catalan, is a high-end, ultra-ambitious collaboration between Zabala and Chef José Andrés, along with the TFG creative team, ThinkFoodTank.

A seasoned veteran of the Spanish fine dining world, Zabala was named Eater LA's "Chef of the Year, 2018" for his groundbreaking contributions to the city’s dining scene at Somni.

At Somni, Zabala orchestrates the weekly rotating tasting menu that highlights Spanish fine dining sensibilities, and the highest quality local and seasonal ingredients. Previously, Zabala led the now-closed SAAM as head chef. Both Somni and SAAM have been ranked among the top restaurants in the city in the Los Angeles Times’ lauded “101 Best Restaurants” list. Somni was awarded two Michelin stars in the 2019 California Michelin Guide.

Since joining the TFG team in 2010, Zabala has spearheaded numerous openings as the restaurant group's Creative Director, including Jaleo, é, China Poblano, and Bazaar Meat in Las Vegas, as well as played a key role in The Bazaar by José Andrés in Beverly Hills. Additionally, he has assisted Andrés in planning the curriculum for the chef’s ‘Science & Cooking’ course at Harvard University. Prior to working with Andrés, Zabala worked as a cook at his mother’s Basque restaurant for many years, before moving on to play an instrumental role at several Michelin-rated restaurants in Spain, including elBulli, which holds a record five #1 rankings on the World’s 50 Best list.

 

Recreate Chef Zabala's recipes with his favorite Regalis ingredients. 
20% of all proceeds go to the staff's unemployment fund.