It’s the same old story. Colombian born artist/music producer hires Korean-American chef and opens an L.A. gastropub. Oh wait, that’s not an everyday story at all, but that is the tale of Bogota native OG Chino, who recruited chef Chris Oh, Seoul Sausage co-founder and a man who wins every televised cooking competition he enters, to open Escala in Koreatown’s Chapman Plaza. The space is as stylish as OG Chino, complete with a blinged out bicycle above the door, a chandelier crafted from gramophones, and a DJ deck outside the kitchen.
Chris Oh took a crash course in Colombian cooking, guided by the goateed owner, and infused the dishes with bold flavors, including Chorizo Clams ($12). Yes, Manila clams are ostensibly the key ingredient in the bowl, and their flavor comes through, but there’s a reason they credit chorizo first. The crumbled sausage joins clams in a spicy bisque that includes coconut milk and a house-made Colombian spice mix of allspice, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin and more. You’ll want to use the olive oil painted toast to soak up the bold pork-fueled broth. After all, it’s bad form to leave any pork products behind.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.