Former Palate chef Gary Menes joined forces with Andre Guerrero on marché L.A., which debuted tonight in the former Sherman Oaks home of Max Restaurant, specializing in market-driven small plates. Last night, the partners previewed Chef Menes’ food, drawing from the opening menu, and no dish was more impressive than the pork belly ($15) with wheat berries, peaches and dandelion greens, a variation on a popular dish he prepared at Palate. The roasted pork belly wasn’t exactly lean, but it was meatier than your typical thick-cut bacon, with a rich golden color. The luscious fork-tender pork paired well with the slightly bitter greens, sweet peaches and fibrous barley-like wheat berries. If Palate was any indication, Menes will likely switch the belly’s accompaniments on a regular basis to capitalize on seasonality, but as long as he keeps cooking the cut so expertly, it’s bound to be grades of great.
UPDATE: marché L.A. went out of business, and chef Gary Menes has moved on to Palihouse.
UPDATE: marché L.A. is now CLOSED.
Dose of Vitamin P is a new feature that spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.