In a city as image-conscious as Los Angeles, the temptation to show off is irresistible. That's why it's so refreshing to discover a young talent who's playing it cool. Jared Simons is the chef/owner of Violet, a funky 60-seater that bloomed two years ago on a sketchy stretch of Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. The 27-year-old prepares what he calls "casual fare," which amounts to simple, recognizable food people like to eat. That's not to say that this graduate of ...

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