Rising Star Chef Vartan Abgaryan of 71Above - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

April 2017

Vartan Abgaryan’s career in food began out of necessity. Growing up in his native Armenia, constantly surrounded by his grandmother and mother’s cooking, he witnessed food’s power as a vehicle for creativity and a means for making people happy. In 1991, Abgaryan and his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Santa Barbara, California. His insatiable appetite for the culinary world— particularly classic French food—was solidified through formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas and with work at André Soltner’s iconic Lutèce in New York.

Afterward, Abgaryan headed back to the West Coast, where his flavor-driven, seasonal point-of-view meshed with Los Angeles’ rich culinary heritage. He went on to lead the kitchens in a number of the city’s acclaimed restaurants, including Tim Goodell’s Red Pearl Kitchen, ‘A’ Restaurant, and Public Kitchen & Bar, before landing at Silver Lake favorite Cliff’s Edge. There, Abgaryan’s inspired, visually-stunning dishes elevated the restaurant’s once-casual menu and helped reel in a three-star review from LA Weekly.

In 2015, Abgaryan teamed up with Emil Eyvazoff for the debut 71Above, a world-class dining destination on the 71st floor of downtown L.A.’s U.S. Bank Tower. The restaurant boasts 360-degree views of the city—along with one of its most formidable brigades. As part-owner and executive chef, Abgaryan is serving luxurious, elaborate meals inspired by the city above which the restaurant is perched.