Whether you were forced to read The Odyssey in high school, or simply opted to squeeze in the Cliffs Notes version before finals, you’re no doubt familiar with the famed couple at the heart of that epic tale: Odysseus and his wife Penelope, the warrior and the weaver. As co-owners and chefs at a new restaurant named for Homer’s legendary lovers, perhaps Karen and Quinn Hatfield aspire to similar fame. Or maybe they simply liked the sound of it—Odys + Penelope—emblazoned across the entrance to a space at once contemporary and yet outfitted with classical columns. One could even argue that the name reflects the Mediterranean bent apparent alongside Californian and Brazilian influences on the menu. But enough about the name: as fans of the Hatfields’ previous projects are no doubt thinking, it’s really all about the food.
Culinary power couple Karen and Quinn Hatfield first made a name for themselves (quite literally) with the eponymous Hatfield’s, a sleek, fine dining establishment that opened on Melrose back in 2006. It may not seem like all that long ago; but in terms of the Los Angeles food scene, it was an utterly different era: one in which celebrity hotspots were de rigueur, and diners seemed to care more about who they saw then what actually appeared on their plates. Amidst this see-and-be-seen culture, the Hatfields flouted popular convention and managed to earn a Michelin star with their commitment to innovation, craft, and an unabashedly chef-driven menu. In the end, their talent and dedication didn’t save their restaurant, which shuttered last year; but it did pave the way for the couple’s subsequent ventures, and a paring back of fine dining pomp to reveal a more authentic, accessible approach—all without compromising either quality or the creative spark that put them on the map.