Whenever it was a special occasion or a fancy night on the town, my mom would suggest a restaurant called Grace. To us, it was, indeed, fancy. All these years later, that word, however, isn’t really the best description for what Grace restaurant gave. It was just as welcoming as it was refined. And I’m not sure about you, but when I think of fancy, I think of haughty sommeliers making me feeling meek with my wine choices, and posturing with a bravado that says, “You’re lucky to be here,” vs, “We’re happy to have you here.” Grace was simply not that; nor is BLD, Redbird, or any other restos under the helm of Puck-trained, Top Chef Masters alum, Chef Neal Fraser. Add to the list that his hot dog concept, Fritzi Dog, is perhaps the spot that will have you begging to chow down in the park with your hands wrapped around a handful of robust flavor but childlike familiarity, annnnnnd the fact that he’s a native Angeleno, just like yours truly, and it’s no wonder that he’s a personal fav of mine. Nothing fancy about what’s happening here – just familiar and comforting, but endlessly inventive. Cheers, Chef!
- What’s the staff meal your kitchen gets most excited about?
- What is the one knife you can’t live without?
10 inch Japanese chef’s knife from Korin
- What’s your naughty food indulgence?
- What’s your mini bar go to?
Frozen Snickers bar.
- If you could stage at any restaurant in your city, where would it be and why?
Genwa. I love their banchan.
- After a long day at work you go home and…?
Drink a beer and a rye with 3 ice cubes.
- If you weren’t working in a kitchen, what would you be doing?
I’d be a cycling tour leader.
- Drink of choice?
- One cookbook you can’t live without/most referenced?
Eating Italy by Jeff Michaud.
- What’s the most overrated ingredient?
- Describe your cooking in one word:
Images via: Andy Keilen, Brian Callaway