When M.B. Post’s Chef David LeFevre and Slanted Door’s Chef Charles Phan joined forces last Monday night in the name of charity, the results were nothing short of fantastic.
While Chef LeFevre is best known for his way with seafood (and bacon cheddar biscuits), Chef Phan is a pioneer of “modern Vietnamese cooking.” The chefs found common ground this evening in their mutual appreciation for bold, Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients. In spite of their different backgrounds and strengths, the menu gelled harmoniously.
This unique kitchen collaboration was made possible by Common Threads, an organization that both chefs support, which is dedicated to educating children on the importance of nutrition and physical well-being and to fostering an appreciation of cultural diversity through cooking.
The “four” course, family-style dinner began with a hamachi crudo with crispy shallots and Thai basil from Chef Phan.
I’ve eaten crispy shallots on top of just about everything from noodles to crepes and sticky rice, but never atop raw fish. The thin, caramelized bits paired beautifully with the thick-cut yellowtail.
Continue reading ‘Dream Team: Charles Phan & David LeFevre “Can You Dig It?” Collaboration at M.B. Post’
This is the story about the Saturday night back in mid-December when my brother shut down Mission Chinese Food to celebrate his 35th birthday.
After pre-gaming at Katz’s Deli and sneaking in some sweets at Dessert Club Chikalicious, The Astronomer and I made our way down to the Lower East Side for a feast like no other. We’re certainly no strangers to multi-course Chinese banquets, but this one was wildly different with twelve tongue-numbing Sichuan delights masterminded by Chef Danny Bowien.
Mission Chinese Food arrived in New York City last summer from the shores of San Francisco. The subterranean restaurant, which is dimly lit in a pinkish hue and seats just three dozen diners, serves “whimsical Chinese” prepared by a Korean-born chef reared in Oklahoma City.
It’s not fine dining. It’s not authentic. It’s not from one region. We’re just trying to do everything backwards. – Chef Danny Bowien
The menu was curated beforehand by my bro and his lovely wife, so all that was left to do was to sit back, sip a cocktail, and settle in for the fireworks.
Continue reading ‘Mission Chinese Food – New York City’
A most enticing Instagram snapped and expertly filtered by The Spice Table‘s Bryant Ng sent my friend Nastassia and me into a doughnut-induced tizzy. Constantly on the search for the very best deep-fried rings around, we made immediate plans for weekend brunch, the only meal where this coconut- and pandan-glazed beauty is served.
Nastassia, her boyfriend Reade, and I arrived at right about noon to a humming dining room last Saturday. The restaurant has been quietly serving brunch since December, but didn’t advertise it to the public until just a few weeks ago. It’s clear that word has gotten out about this midday feast.
“The Kaya Doughnut” ($3) arrived at the table before our slew of savories, as requested. After we snapped more photos than we’d like to admit, Nastassia went in for the first bite. The huge smile that crept across her face and the sigh that followed signaled to me that this doughnut was gonna be great!
Continue reading ‘Brunch at The Spice Table – Los Angeles (Downtown)’
It’s a crying shame that Red Medicine got off on such an awful foot during its early days. First there was the uproar over the communist propaganda-inspired logo emblazoned with Ho Chi Minh’s face, which was followed by the brouhaha for exposing and ejecting the Los Angeles Times restaurant critic.
These events kept me and my curiosity at bay for quite some time, but I’m glad that I finally pulled up a seat at this “Vietnamese punk” establishment, because Chef Jordan Kahn‘s cooking is some of the most modern, forward, and interesting fare that I’ve ever experienced in Los Angeles.
As its manifesto declares, “This is not a traditional Vietnamese restaurant.” Instead, Chef Kahn, the former pastry chef at the French Laundry, Per Se, and Alinea, picks and chooses flavors and ingredients from the cuisine that inspire him to create dishes that are as pleasing to the palate as they are to the eye.
My friend Diep and I grabbed two seats at the bar and proceeded to order cocktails, a duo of dishes, and dessert. We had just come from a taco binge on the corner of Venice and La Brea, so this was the perfect way to get our feet wet without committing to an entire dinner.
Continue reading ‘Red Medicine – Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)’