The Truth about the Draycott: Part 1

Marissa Hermer reconnects with her “fairy godmother” Palisadian Kim Clary over breakfast.

Draycott Restaurant Features Palisades Owners

By SUE PASCOE

A good friend predicted this summer that when the upscale Draycott restaurant opens in Caruso’s Palisades Village, we’d have to stop at one martini because it would be too expensive for more—and that it certainly wouldn’t be a family-friendly place.

Neither rumor was true. Turns out the martini trolley will be $16 and there’s an appealing, well-considered children’s menu in the works.

This week, I met with co-owner Marissa Hermer, who has three children (ages 6, 4 and 2), and her “fairy godmother” Kim Clary at Estate Coffee on Via de la Paz.

Marissa is beautiful, down-to-earth and absolutely delightful. She said she would be willing to meet with anyone who has any concerns or questions about the Draycott, which is “named after Draycott Avenue, where Matt and I first lived together in London.”

She and her husband’s 200-seat restaurant will open onto a patio and the green area along Monument. “When I saw that location, I knew that’s what I wanted,” Marissa said. “Children always finish eating first, so here they can get down and run around, while adults finish their meal.”

Marissa Hermer’s “godmother” Kim Clary offers to babysit the three kids.

The children’s menu (in the $8-10 price range) will include market fresh grilled salmon with steamed broccoli, grilled chicken breast with English peas and carrots, and fish & chips with house-made tartar sauce and market vegetables. The meal includes either freshly squeezed orange juice or organic apple juice, and an option of a kid-sized scoop of McConnell’s ice cream.

The Hermers have lived in Pacific Palisades since December 2016 and have eaten in most of the local restaurants.

“With our restaurant we wanted a place where we could sit and have a glass of wine with great food, as a family,” Marissa said.

How the couple ended up here almost reads like a fairy tale.

Once upon a time . . .

. . . .Twenty-year Palisades resident Kim Clary, who is on the Pacific Palisades Task Force for Homelessness and served as president of her Castellammare homeowners association, was working for Coldwell Banker and living with Philip Anshutz (Marissa’s father, not the billionaire entrepreneur). From 1971-1976, they had a farm under the flight path of the Orange County airport, raising goats and chickens.

Like many fine relationships, it came to an end, but Philip and Kim remained good friends.

Such good friends, in fact, that when Philip and Trudy (his new girlfriend) were expecting their first child several years later in December, Clary offered to hold the baby shower at her home in Corona del Mar.

Small problem: Trudy came to Clary shortly before the shower and asked if she would host a wedding instead. Nonplussed, Clary agreed. The day arrived, the pregnant bride-to-be was there, guests were there, but Phil was not.

It turns out he had gone hiking that morning and fallen off a hillside. He finally showed up, late, with a ranger, all scratched and bruised from his fall. The wedding went off and baby Marissa was born a month later.

Clary became her “fairy godmother” and while Marissa was growing up she spent time in Pacific Palisades.

This week, while having coffee together here in town, Clary asked Marissa if her children could come stay over, promising to find “Peter Pan” to show them.

The two explained to this writer that whenever Marissa and her younger brother, Ben, stayed with Clary, he always insisted they watch “Peter Pan.”

Marissa, who grew up in Newport Beach and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont, laughed and asked Clary, “All three [children at once]?”

“Sure!” said Clary, who told this writer that at first, she was surprised when she learned about the family’s move to California and, then “I was so happy.”

What prompted the move?

(Stay tuned for part 2, tomorrow.)

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2 Responses to The Truth about the Draycott: Part 1

  1. Judith Newmark says:

    Thank you, Sue!

  2. Marge Gold says:

    Great story Sue! I am looking forward to part two. I’ve known Kim as the head, along with her husband David Moreno, of the Homeless count held in the Palisades and now I will picture her with a fairy godmother wand and those three adorable kids, all watching Peter Pan.

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