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RESTAURANT JOURNAL

Why not add on a kitchen?

May 24, 2006|Charles Perry | Times Staff Writer

ALL that just-picked produce overflowing stalls at the Hollywood Farmers Market, and no kitchen. No kitchen. It just doesn't make sense.

Apparently, the market agrees. It plans an ambitious multifunction kitchen that will operate six days a week, occupying a 1,500-square-foot space on Morningside Court, at the east end of the market.

One of its functions will be cooking for you, the shopper. The Farmers Kitchen will sell soups, salads and sandwiches made with farmers market produce, thus "extending the presence of the Hollywood Farmers Market" through most of the week, says Pompea Smith, chief executive of Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles, which runs the market.

"The Farmers Kitchen will provide a number of services and programs to the local community," says Smith, "with a particular focus on assistance and nutrition education for the low-income population."

SEE-LA already offers such programs in nutrition and restaurant job training in low-income neighborhoods. The most novel detail is that the kitchen will process produce -- by canning and dehydration -- for farmers to sell in their stalls. The kitchen will also sell canned and dehydrated produce at its retail counter.

At the moment, the project is still in an early planning stage. SEE-LA has the use of the space rent-free for four years from Sunset + Vine development.

-- Charles Perry

Small bites

* Cut by Wolfgang Puck -- yes, that's its official name -- opens in its Richard Meier-designed space in the Regent Beverly Wilshire on June 1. A steakhouse with a lounge called Sidebar that will have its own smaller menu, the restaurant dining room boasts views of the main kitchen and an "exhibition appetizer kitchen."

Cut, Regent Beverly Wilshire, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 276-8500.

* A month after Tim Goodell denied that he and his wife Liza were turning their Melrose Avenue restaurant Meson G into a branch of their more-casual Red Pearl Kitchen chain, the Domaine Restaurants partners have announced that they are doing just that.

Meson G closes at the end of this month; the scheduled opening as Red Pearl Kitchen is September.

* Richard Kaye, owner of the Creole and soul food restaurant Cirxa Bistro has closed that Silver Lake spot and, after an extensive remodel, opened Sushi Koda in the same location. The chef is Gardena-born Gary Flood. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday.

Sushi Koda, 3719 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 663-1048.

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