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5 Questions for Charles Olalia

August 13, 2012|By Betty Hallock
  • Charles Olalia is chef de cuisine of the Patina restaurant at Disney Music Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Charles Olalia is chef de cuisine of the Patina restaurant at Disney Music… (Lauren Noble )

Charles Olalia is chef de cuisine of Patina restaurant at Walt Disney Concert Hall, stepping up to helm the kitchen after the recent departure of Tony Esnault. Olalia, who also has worked at the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., and restaurant Guy Savoy in Las Vegas, is collaborating with Patina Group founder Joachim Splichal to develop a new menu that will launch in early fall. Meanwhile, Olalia’s celebrating the summer with weekly farmers market menus, featuring dishes such as stone fruit salad with celtuce, porcini risotto, Copper River king salmon with ratatouille, and Bing cherry tart.

What’s coming up next on your menu? We are working on a full tomato tasting menu. The tomato will be featured in all forms. The great thing about tomatoes is that they go with just about everything and can also stand on their own.

Latest ingredient obsession? I love working with people who are as passionate about their craft as I am. Alex Weiser from Weiser farms is a great example of that. It shows in how he talks about his products. The melons they have this season are some of the sweetest ones I've tasted. The Sugar Cube and the Ogen variety have been amazing. They also grow four different eggplants that are all so good.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? I go often to Max’s restaurant, a Filipino restaurant that specializes in fried chicken.

Favorite kitchen soundtrack? Ice Cube, “It Was a Good Day.”

What’s your favorite breakfast? Fried rice, longganisa and egg.

Patina, 141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 972-3331, www.patinarestaurant.com.

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