For me, the sign of a good dinner party is always the company. When I walked through the doors for the pop-up dinner hosted by French food collective We Are Ona during Frieze week in Los Angeles—located in an unassuming corner of Silver Lake, next to a day spa with a handwritten sign on the window—I was greeted by a long candlelit table with colorful splash cups and rounded wooden benches designed by Peter Shire. Chic, sweater-clad art world types were circulating holding glasses of champagne and introducing themselves to each other. The only problem? Having arrived from New York earlier that day, I realized I didn’t know a soul there.
You could say the point of a party is to come together to forge communal memories—to share food and to talk about it, sure, but also to absorb the finer details of it all and let them imprint themselves on your memory. (I’ll forever associate Diptyque candles, for example, with my sister’s New York apartment, where I’ve spent many an evening watching the wax drip one of their tapers over the course of a long dinner.) And in the best-case scenario, you leave a dinner party with a new friend, feeling, or idea. I certainly did.
With plans to continue their dinner series at Frieze New York in May with chef Mory Sacko and at Art Basel Miami in December, We Are Ona’s stateside art world takeover is only just getting underway—and if their kickoff in Los Angeles is anything to go by, coming by tickets will likely be rarer than a slice of French steak.