I recently asked eight of L.A.’s most talented local chefs, What dish from another restaurant do you most wish you had developed, and why? Their responses might surprise you.
Josiah Citrin (Melisse)
The “New Style Sashimi” that Nobu Matsuhisa launched back in the day at Matsuhisa. He dressed the fish with ginger, garlic, chives, soy sauce, sesame seeds and yuzu juice, and then poured hot olive oil and hot sesame oil over. The first time I tried it I just thought it was so different, and it just tasted so good. It’s this kind of innovative thinking that makes Nobu such a master, and helped launch a worldwide empire.
The dish: Snapper wrapped around monkfish liver with a cherry consume at Saison. Why? Because it was one of the best bites of food I have had in recent memory. Truly exceptional.
Jessica Koslow (SQIRL)
But, if there’s one dish from another restaurant I wish I had developed, it would be the simplest of things — the Welsh Rarebit from St. JOHN. Perhaps its due to my fascination for bringing excitement (and seasoning) to the simplest of dishes (although my 2nd place dish is Michel Bras‘ Gargouillou).
St. John’s Welsh Rarebit is pungent; a bold mixture of worcestershire and strong, mature cheddar, thrown into the salamander and served piping hot. It’s a complex and overwhelming flavor bomb. Fergus Henderson shows how to extract bold flavors from the littlest of ingredients. It’s really inspiring.
Walter Manzke (Republique)
The Double Double at In-N-Out. It’s classic LA – people travel to get it and it started here, so it’s rooted in our culture.