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Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Los Angeles Chinatown, like it's counterpart in Manhattan is going through a gentrification phase in which non-Chinese restaurants and businesses have moved in. Latest evidence here is the upcoming opening of Little Jewel of New Orleans, which appears to be a deli and grocery operation, right next to ABC Seafood. This is the space most recently occupied by Hoy King, and occupied for many years by Yuan Ten and for you real old timers, Chung Mee. Apparently during the renovation, Little Jewel found some interesting artifacts dating back to when the building was part of the North Spring Street Chinatown, which as some of us remember was a separate Chinese community that was a few blocks away from Broadway Chinatown, the two once being separated a large patch of non-Chinese businesses.

And speaking of ABC Seafood, signs on the exterior indicate that they now serve dim sum in their dining room, cooked to order. Previously dim sum was available in the take out section, and only available in the dining room by request to be carried over from the take out area. And until the new Empress Pavilion reopens, CBS Seafood is doing swell with a mob of people waiting to get in for Saturday afternoon dim sum.

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  1. Thanks for the update, Chandavki. I feel bad for Fong and his family.

    1. The center with Chego, Starry and Scoops will be damn near fully gentrified within a year.

      5 Replies
      1. re: JAB

        Starry Kitchen isn't in the Chego and Scoops plaza; it's further north next to the Bruce Lee statue.

        1. re: SauceSupreme

          As of when because the last time that I was there, Starry had a location in what used to be the Pho Ga location and a kiosk just outside of that for their banh mi pop up.

          1. re: JAB

            Ah their banh mi pop up, yes. Is that a regular thing? Regardless, their real brick and mortar location is on Gin Ling Way.

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              The intention is to develop the Far East Plaza space into a banh mi shop run by SK.

        2. Hello, I'm one of the owners of The Little Jewel of New Orleans Grocery and Deli. We did, in fact, find some artifacts that we are donating to the Chinese Historical Museum shortly. I am also making plans to have a mural painted on the back of our building that celebrates and commemorates China City (and the history therein) with full support of the longtime property owner and landlord. My partner Eunah and I live downtown (where I have lived for 17 years) and love Chinatown. Eunah is Asian and I'm Italian, just like the people that lived in this neighborhood alongside you historically. Let me assure you that my friends & neighbors at the restaurants you have mentioned are delighted that we are not yet another Chinese business, as they are over saturated and are really feeling the pinch. In fact when they saw that my girl was Asian they were really worried that we were in fact going to be another Chinese business. When I told them that we were doing po boys and New Orleans cuisine along with Southern Regional cuisine they were relieved and honestly I can understand. There's about 14 Chinese seafood restaurant around here. The neighbors and passerbys tell me daily that they are highly anticipating our opening and appreciate the variety. Sadly the former restaurant was closed down by the Board of Health and sat festering in horrible neglect for over 9 months, in truly horrible condition that we have made great efforts to repair . If you would like to know more about what we are doing and what the plans are please feel free to contact me! Eunah and I both love the history of this place and look forward to our further interaction with the community. Thanks! CHEF MARCUS markvsaugustvs@gmail.com

          44 Replies
            1. re: jessejames

              +1 Best of luck. I will definite come in and try a po-boy.

              1. re: ns1

                Do you honestly think after having at best lackluster cuisine from supposedly New Orleans restaurants here in clueless California for at least 18 years that I have any intention of doing so? That's part of the reason we opened the joint!

                 
                1. re: ChefMarkvs

                  that's good to hear ;) been looking for some good fried catfish/poboys w/o driving south of the 10.

                  1. re: ns1

                    Middendorffs style from the swamps of Manchac! I think it would help if people would use a little egg wash to begin with!

                     
                    1. re: ChefMarkvs

                      Your checkered floor reminds me of some NOLA spots. I'm thinking K-Paul's and another spot outside the Quarter that may have been a pharmacy (?) at one point?

                      1. re: mc michael

                        Yeah, it's the "flavor" of the neighborhoods for sure. My Gramma used to take me to the old Italian groceries near the race track (where they hold the Jazz Fest, now) every morning in the Ursulines area after Church (yeah, sterotypical Sicilian catholic boy), for fresh French Bread, and it looked like this. I am Sicilian and there are a lot of us down there, with these types of businesses (groceries and deli's) and decor.

                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                          As someone who hasn't actually STOPPED in Chinatown for, um, a few decades, I'm glad to see some sort of revitalization, regardless of whether the stores/cafes are Chinese or not. We have plenty of Chinese not too far from Chinatown; I think anything that brings in new blood and foot traffic is a good thing....

                          Wish I comment more on New Orleans food, but I know very little about it. Hopefully there'll be beignets for dessert. =)

                          1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                            Beignets and Café au Lait scheduled for fall. I worked at Morning Call Coffee and Beignets in New Orleans as a youth (*the locals choice that wails on the touristy Cafe Du Monde)!

                          2. re: ChefMarkvs

                            Really interesting. So this is the broader conversation that the New Chowhound is engendering. I was skeptical, but am glad your post is the first that I've reads of these "new wave" posts.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985121

                            I Googled you and found the LA Times piece.

                            http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish...

                            I was absolutely delighted to see Blue Plate mayo for sale locally.

                            I was *especially* delighted to hear you channeling your grandma's derision of FUB™ type goods. (e.g. $14 mason jars.) Listen to your grandma. I wish more LA chefs would.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8531...

                            I've been far too interested in food for a long time, way longer than the recent "foodie" explosion (as were many of us who found a refuge on Chowhound in the early days). However, I've never been a fan of the hype around restaurants or personalities.

                            I'm really only interested in well prepared food at a fair price. I don't want style, I want substance. And from what I've seen from your place, it looks promising. If you do the simple things well, without trying to fusion up some trendy, overpriced New Orlenas/LA cuisine (and I'm not saying you are), you'll certainly win my business.

                            Here's wishing you the best of fortunes in your new endeavor.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              QUOTE (from the article): "'"But my grandmother would laugh at anything served in a Mason jar that costs $14.'"

                              Now you wouldn't be throwing shade at a certain Eggslut, would you??? ;) I only went there once. While I would not consider it a "good value," I certain do think the food was delicious.

                              If Chef Marcus can provide a better price/quality ratio, then I'm certainly interested.... (esp when the Expo extension is done, so I don't have to deal w/ traffic!).

                              1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                I think it's a good value and quoting from the menu

                                SLUT

                                a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar and served with toasty crostini

                                $9.00

                                EGGSLUT CHEESEBURGER

                                ground american wagyu beef, caramelized onions, bread and butter pickles, melty cheddar cheese, and dijonnaise, topped with an over medium egg in a warm portuguese bun

                                single $8.00

                                plus nice clientele.

                                1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                  Actually I live right next door to SLUT, I really enjoy it and I wasn't talking about them at all. What they are doing isn't really even anything that we do back home. I don't think it's as expensive as all that either. I'm referring to some of the experiences I have had in restaurants doing "Southern cuisine" as a trend. The idea of "classing up" country style food to the point where it's supposedly gourmet. It's not just in Los Angeles, I've experienced a lot of this in San Francisco as well.

                                  1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                    I'll see your $14 pickles and raise you mason jars as drinking glasses. Putting my lips up to thick, threaded glass is just not a pleasurable way for me to enjoy a beverage.

                                    Over the last decade+, we've had many debates on Chowhound about fancying up humble, simple foods, and whether that's a good or bad thing. It's a complex issue. Why is a plate of freshly made Italian pasta a bargain at $10, but zha jiang mian is too expensive? My opinion on this has evolved, but is still complex. I dislike gentrification, and the way that trendy places seem to attract a very narrow demographic of Angelenos. But, I do sometimes enjoy the food that is the result of gentrification. I've said many times before, Cole's vs. Philippe's is a great example of a place that ostensibly serves similar foods, with a vastly different customer demographic. One serves a broad swath of Angelenos from all walks of life, and the other serves a considerably narrower demographic. I'll let you figure out which is which. Even though I believe the food at the newly renovated Cole's is much better, I'll go to Philippe's 10x for each 1 visit to Cole's. The place just feels better to me. It's real, it's honest. It's not trying to be anything other than what it is, and I respect that. Contrast with Coles which is, in this odd way, a beautiful recreation. It's missing this ethereal element... sincerity, perhaps? I don't know.

                                    And when chefs who love to evoke this down-home "comfort foods", "welcome to my kitchen" schtick on their menus and websites (e.g. Nancy Silverton), and then charge absurd prices for inexpensive, simple foods- the insincerity of it rubs me the wrong way. If you're going to charge those high prices, fine-- but don't pretend that we're your friends in the kitchen with you, or at your backyard BBQ, where you charge your guests $30 for a burger, fries and a coke.

                                    In any case, I personally hope that Little Jewel is more in the vein of Philippe's rather than Cole's. I hope you understand what I'm trying to convey here.

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      i did like the old, grungy cole's.

                                      btw, what's a demographic ??????

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        I see no reason why you cannot find a happy medium, personally. I don't think that "food made with love" needs to bend you over the counter at check out time for an "artisan" gang bang ( if you will ). Sure, some of the items I will have will be expensive because they are seafood from the Gulf, or items from Louisiana that I have had to fly in because of difficult distribution routes. I'm not trying to make it a general practice, and we would like to cater to many "demographics".

                                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                          make some money be successful and stick around

                                          1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                            Wow. Artisan gang bang. That's spot-on hilarious, dude. I wish I had thought it up.

                                            I do hope your place attracts a broad swath of Angelenos. The problem is, the moment Jonathan Gold writes you up (and its inevitable if you do NOLA food really, really well), you're going to have a line of hipsters out the door and that's going to keep everyone else away. So, how do you make the rest of LA feel comfortable in your place? It probably requires outreach to the community, and some lower priced menu items. It looks like you're with a Chinese gal... my wife is Taiwanese. Sell the beignets to the hipsters, and to the local Chinese and VN as NOLA youtiao! Leave the mounds of powdered sugar off, and they'll snap that up for breakfast every day.

                                            Ah, but that's right-- you're not looking to compete with the locals, though for the life of me I can't think of anyone making decent youtiao in Chinatown.

                                            Mr Taster

                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                              I extend my hospitality to everyone, I just want everyone to have a good time of it.

                                                1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                  I salute you for that. Let's see how it goes!

                                                  Mr Taster

                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                  So you hate hipsters for lining up at places you would frequent? Doesn't that make you a hipster in some way?

                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                Well, Cole's has pretty good mixed drinks. Philippe's has beer and wine.

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  I walked THROUGH Cole's once (on the way to the Varnish), but I'm not even sure why Cole and Philippe are being compared to each other. It doesn't make sense to compare restaurants simply b/c they have a similar menu (IMHO). Both places have a very different "vibe" and are PURPOSELY trying to cultivate that.

                                                  For me, the overly precious pricing and self-consciously retro environment at Philippe is no more "sincere" than whatever is going on Cole's. That's not to say that I haven't enjoyed Philippe the few times I've gone.

                                                  Regardless of whether Little Jewel is Cole's or Philippe's, I simply hope that they have good food at a "decent" price and night and weekend hrs. ;) In terms of questioning the motivation of the owners/operators, I leave that to other people. ;)

                                                2. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                  Ah, thanks for the clarification. Although I wouldn't have minded if you WERE referencing them.

                                                  Mr. Taster's post below indicates why I was wondering if you were referencing the changing scene in DTLA.

                                                  1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                    I understand completely. In regards to gentrification, at least here in Chinatown, there were so many open and blighted and properties when we were looking 7 months ago, and I'm sure things are changing, that I don't know how aplicable that is. Quite frankly a lot of places around here are really kind of falling apart and vacant. Lots of ratty, disused old properties sitting in weathered former Asian retail plazas. Basically these businesses have migrated to the San Gabriel Valley. Sort of like the white flight that I remember in the south to the suburbs. I'm not inferring that it is for the same reason, mind you, but none the less that is what happened. Chinatown is a changing area and that seems to be a constant theme . I doubt that when the Chinese moved into the formerly Italian area it was referred to as the Chinafiction of Little Italy? Regardless I want all people to be our customers and I enjoy every culture so I'll get back to working on this menu now, I enjoy speaking with all of you.

                                                    1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                      I think what's happening is that rents in CTown are rising, and people are moving to Lincoln Heights and the SGV. At least that was the situation 10 years ago. Also, the recession probably did a real number on the locals, as it has to everyone, except to people involved in the internet. The area really depends on tourists, so once the tourism goes - there goes everything.

                                                      1. re: wildgift

                                                        Haha rents in Chinatown aren't rising for shit. Do you know what commercial rent goes for in SGV? You'd be surprise how much more it is.

                                                        Whats happening is that no ethnic group wants Chinatown. This area has always been a place for new coming ethnic groups to settle due to its long history of being a cheap place to settle but being that our immigration patterns don't support that sort of environment for Chinatown anymore it has been dying off for the past few years.

                                                        1. re: Johnny L

                                                          Chinatown continues to be deal in terms of rent in the area. Especially with its proximity to the gold line and all that downtown and the arts district has to offer. But it's going to take a while for it 'clean-up'

                                                          --Dommy!

                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                            Not enough homeless people in the area to make artistic "edgy" types want to overpay to live there ;-)

                                                            Mr Taster

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                              Cute. Actually there is still a lot of older Chinese/Vietnamese people who still live in the area (my friend's biggest complaint is that people steal from her fruit trees. ;/) that will be harder to displace. But they area already building new places... slowly. slowly.

                                                              --Dommy!

                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                There are a ton of "edgy" art galleries in DTLA Chinatown.

                                                                That armchair you have sure gets a lot of use.

                                                                  1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                    Also isn't the history usually broke artistic edgy types live in lower rent areas until they are pushed out due to rising rents?

                                                                    1. re: Jase

                                                                      @Jase - "broke" and "lower rent" mean different things when it's art-school graduates pricing apartments in immigrant communities. You're looking at artists who maybe got a scholarship, or paid, for a year of school, more than what most of the residents earn. That affects perspectives. (Example: Otis is $38k per year. Chinatown median household income, 2008, $22.7k. Even adjusting for the year - the art school is way more expensive. The CTown wages skew down due to seniors, I'm guessing.)

                                                              2. re: Johnny L

                                                                damn, in that case, maybe i should just open up a crazy dope sushi bar there.

                                                                1. re: Johnny L

                                                                  Johnny L - I meant residential rents. Wasn't thinking of commercial rents. I remember it used to be really cheap there, but when the galleries came in in the early 2000s, the rents went up. Some places were intended for hipsters, judging from the rent and remodel jobs.

                                                        2. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                          Eggslut sandwiches and burger are amazing! Chill out!

                                                  2. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                    Middendorff's!!!!!
                                                    Me and my Baton Rouge reared girl are sooooo looking forward to trying your food.

                                                3. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                  Oh good god. Is this really happening? I had completely given up on LA food in L.A. Best of luck. No one is rooting for you guys more than the people on this board.

                                                4. Another note would be that myself and the employees that will staff the kitchen (so far)are all graduates of Los Angeles Trade Tech, and deeply tied to the Los Angeles community. We look forward to also holding interviews for a Chinese speaking clerk in the grocery.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                    Did you learn under chef Gio, and Headly et al?

                                                    1. re: AAQjr

                                                      Vachon, Kasmar, Blanchard. Etc...Headly was done when I started. Don't get me wrong I had already been cooking in Louisiana but I wanted to go into the program not only to benefit from the program itself but to work on my future crew. It was a great experience and I can't say enough of it .

                                                  2. Also, just as a visual aid to let you know the place we spent 5 months remodeling and bringing up to code in this rather run down area of the city with real questionable Health and Food Service practices.....we like to think the public deserves better than what is currently here. That's why we have put our blood, sweat, tears and MONEY into it (the whole place was so wrecked I won't even show you, quite disgusting..I am thankful I had some Katrina house cleaning experience before going into that WALK IN, I assure you)! We are all certified chefs here (mostly from Trade Tech) and are NOT rich kids. This is a labor of love.

                                                     
                                                    16 Replies
                                                    1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                      Laissez les Bon temps roulez indeed. Are you open tomorrow morning for lunch before 1pm ahmanson show?

                                                      1. re: chewbacca

                                                        If only, we have our board of health final inspection Monday. I will make a great understatement when I say that going through all the processes with the city is an extremely time-consuming process. If everything goes right we should have the market part opened up a week after. It will take me a few weeks in the kitchen after to bang out a starter "soft menu" (po'boys!). I will keep everyone posted and feel free to email me @markvsaugustvs@gmail.com

                                                          1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                            Please!!! be as good or better than Parkway Bakery & Tavern in LA.

                                                            1. re: STEVEMIU

                                                              You know it, "Surf and Turf" fan, or you like the Roast Beef straight?

                                                              1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                O-boy! Now you got me hungry for some shrimp po' boy. From SGV to Orleans & York....here I go!!!

                                                                1. re: STEVEMIU

                                                                  Bon appetit! We plan to shorten your po'boy commute soon enough!

                                                                  1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                    Is there a liquor license in all this? I might get thirsty.

                                                                      1. re: mc michael

                                                                        You and me both. Unfortunately, as the restaurant was closed down by the Board of Health ( the one that was there before us) we have to go through that process fresh...which will take about 6 to 8 months. That being said obviously we are going to do it. There is no way that I want to eat my "half and halfs" without a cold Abita..at the very least. ;)

                                                                  2. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                    Are you making your po boy bread or shipping or buying locally? No pressure here either you sound like on right track.

                                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                                      One word. Leidenheimers. Obviously the bread is the most important thing really. That's what's been so wrong with it citywide in the first place. That and not using egg wash so that the breading actually holds to the shrimp and oysters. Don't get me started on all of that, these discrepancies are exactly the reason why we started this grocery deli. I'm trying to not talk s*** here, help me out gang!

                                                                2. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                  Woohoo! You're almost there -- you got this thing!

                                                                  I am soooo going to come eat your cooking. And it sounds like the opening might end up being timed to coincide with L.A.'s "monsoon" season -- adding humidity to the equation will only add to the proper LA (state, not city) effect.

                                                                  Good luck with the final steps...looking forward to eating some food made with LOVE.

                                                              1. re: jesstifer

                                                                ChefMarkvs' enthusiasm is certainly contagious.

                                                              2. Will fried oyster po'boys be on the menu? Please?

                                                                32 Replies
                                                                1. re: elgarito

                                                                  How could they NOT be? I'd say that was the main requirement, actually! ;)

                                                                    1. re: elgarito

                                                                      Me too, actually. My favorite is a fried soft shell crab poboy, with provolone and "red gravy" (spicy marinara) on garlic french bread! Boom!

                                                                       
                                                                      1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                        Don't ever say provolone, red gravy and soft shell crab in the same sentence.
                                                                        My stomach is upset just thinking about that.

                                                                          1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                            Some of my favorites have fried shrimp or oysters cheese and roast beef or ham and brown gravy.

                                                                            I also fancy a paneed rabbit po
                                                                            boy.

                                                                            As far as his fav sounds good to me lots of Italian influence in certain Nola cuisine. Garlic bread. Nice touch.

                                                                          2. re: carter

                                                                            Oh (Re: the soft shell crab affair) ,that's on the milder end of the spectrum for natives, believe me.

                                                                            1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                              What are some other cool ones you might bust out? Soft shell crawfish? Any with debris? What are some the others at your end of the spectrum?

                                                                              Man I hope you're real not sent here by the NOLA board to fuck with us

                                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                                Oh we are real all right, We didn't clean up this disaster for the last 5 months just to serve you fried shrimp with the batter falling off on a hoagie bun. All the classics will be represented I can assure you plus some local favorites that you are probably not aware of. We will have interesting specials as well. I'm not going to let on everything because we are really excited to roll them out to you once we get properly going. Wish us luck Board of Health final inspection starts this week! I would like to thank all of you who have responded and posted to this original gentrification in Chinatown post for your interest, your support, and hopefully your patronage!

                                                                              1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                You gotta warm up the crowd! We are really happy to speak to all of you beforehand and are really proud of what we are going to bring to the community. -Markvs and Eunah

                                                                          3. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                            What about a real Muffuletta a la Central Grocery?

                                                                            1. re: New Trial

                                                                              Muffulettas are definitely on the agenda, we will be making our own bread for that. Part of the reason why I wanted a large kitchen.

                                                                              1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                All respect for tradition, but I'm hoping for something a little more like what Cochon is doing with the Muffaletta.

                                                                                Oh, who the hell am I kidding. I just want a proper muffaletta in LA.

                                                                                1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                  In the meantime the one at Joan's on third is decent nice mortadella.

                                                                                  1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                    Personally speaking I think before I bother with fusion and flourishes, which I do enjoy mind you, I really want to provide the classics done correctly. I see people doing our cuisine in other cities and they are trying all these additives without ever mastering the basics. That's just me, but we are aiming to do the traditional classics correctly. At the end of the day I believe it helps for the food to be informed by the culture it is representing. Which is another way of saying I don't want arugula and calf cheek in my god damn po'boy, lol.

                                                                                    1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                      I hear that! The Cochon muffaletta is definitely traditional, but every ingredient is just a little more special, made with a little more love. But Central Grocery, Napolean House, Cochon, whoever you're basing your personal perspective on, I'm good.

                                                                                      If it's on point, I'm there.

                                                                                      1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                        ....which brings me to my point, the cochon de lait po boy at the jazzfest....

                                                                                        1. re: jessejames

                                                                                          Well that's obviously fantastic as are many of these Jazz Fest menu items. Like that crawfish bread. My favorite Cochon du Lait is always at Catholic school fairs in Cajun country. Unbelievable.

                                                                                          1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                            I never filled up on that too much but I do like the folks with the crawfish streudel and white chocalate bread pudding stand.

                                                                                            Maybe room for music at your spot?

                                                                                            1. re: jessejames

                                                                                              We are really focusing on the market and deli. Possibly LIVE music at a later date. As a life long record collector (jazz, jump blues, early rock and roll and R&B from the region) you are definitely going to a soundtrack to listen to.;) Also, if you get a chance to go to the gumbo festival in New Iberia it's really great.

                                                                                                1. re: mc michael

                                                                                                  I have Cajun on the playlist. For a time, my father played fiddle with A. Fontenot and his Cajun Pals band.

                                                                                          2. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                            I'm probably biased, we used to go to Central Grocery,usually before Angelo Brocato's.. for dessert. That's what Sicilian families in New Orleans do on weekends.

                                                                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                    If you want to pay the tax on it we will toast it for you. I've never really understood that fee. All joking aside y'all can have it anyway you want it!

                                                                                        2. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                          I'm with you. Love that Cochon Muffaletta and their boudin.

                                                                                          However, the gumbo from NOLA Poboys was unbeatable.

                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                2. My god, I would kill for some proper boudin here in LA!!
                                                                                  ChefMarkvs, can you make it happen?

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: jdwdeville

                                                                                    In house, for several months, we have been developing homemade versions of 5 regional sausages. Chaurice, Boudin, Tasso, Louisiana Red Hots, and Andouille. ;)

                                                                                    1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                      Oh dear god, I'm ruined when you open. And I'm okay with that!

                                                                                  2. I wouldn't call this gentrification David as no large groups of people are being displaced. Chinatown has been on a slow decline since my family and most of the Chinese families stopped patronizing it and moved out to the SGV. Chinatown was once a Little Italy as well so I think holding onto the whole "Chinese heritage" thing is futile when this neighborhood has always been a transitional one for ethnic groups. Just as Boyle Heights was once home to Jewish, Japanese, and now Latino communities, Chinatown is just going through another economic change.

                                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Johnny L

                                                                                      Well maybe not gentrification in its traditional sense, but L.A. Chinatown is not a typical neighborhood. It's much more commercial than residential, particularly as compared to San Francisco and Manhattan Chinatown which have large numbers of Chinese residents living in and around Chinatown. So in that sense the conspicuous presence of non-Chinese businesses moving into Chinatown can be described as a form of gentrification.

                                                                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                        Well moving into abandoned/derelict spaces can hardly be called gentrification to be fair.

                                                                                        1. re: Johnny L

                                                                                          Isn't that a textbook example of gentrification? I'm not using the term in a pejorative sense, in this case.

                                                                                          1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                            Typically speaking gentrification involves pushing out a community that is already there. In that sense I know personally the only thing that we pushed out were copious amounts of rats and cockroaches, and piles and piles of rotting garbage. The landlord of the property had not had anyone inquire about it for close to a year ( if you saw the inside of it, the horrendous condition of it, that fact would not be a surprise to anyone). We have stated before to the person posting this thread, and everyone else, that we are excited to be part of this community ( as Los Angelenos and Americans) and readily welcome any communication that anyone wishes to have with us. Though we are busy setting up we are trying to make time for for any inquiries. I know you have not responded to me yet, Chandavki, but if you'd like to come down I'll give you a tour. :)

                                                                                            1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                              As I said, not using gentrification in any pejorative sense. Just the literal sense in that the neighborhood will now serve a "wealthier" demographic. I think that's true and I don't think it's bad at all.

                                                                                              I don't object to Chandvkl's use of the term in this case.

                                                                                              That said, I fully support you guys. I'm really excited that you are investing in revitalizing a property that, from your photos, clearly needed someone with some vision and passion.

                                                                                              I'm really looking forward to your opening and to your success.

                                                                                              1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                No, absolutely understood. I certainly wasn't taking offense. One of the things that we are doing in the market and deli is keeping a wide range price wise so that everyone can afford to patronize us from every demographic.

                                                                                                1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                  I went there today and I would have to agree from what I saw they were serving a wealthier demographic.

                                                                                                  Also the Po boy way great. It certainly is no bargain but the quality was there so you did not feel you were ripped off either.

                                                                                                  If it was a little more reasonable I would probably eat there on a more consistent basis and not that they need to be. If they can cater to enough folks willing to spend that much on a sandwich more power to them....

                                                                                                  1. re: burntwater

                                                                                                    yeah, with a soda that shrimp po boy is closed to 20 bucks, and usually my bill is 25 bucks because i happen to throw in a dessert or even one of those aunt sally's pralines which is tiny as shit and 2.99 to boot, not cheap,

                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                      I didn't partake as I was full from my po'boy and half of a crawfish mac & cheese but, they had red velvet and green tea cake slices made by a friend of Chef Marcus'. I believe that she makes the cornbread muffins that are served with the red beans & rice on Mondays as well.

                                                                                                      1. re: JAB

                                                                                                        i've had the carrot cake so far, a little on the dry side.

                                                                                                        and the banana pudding which was good not great.

                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                          Agree on the banana pudding. Liked it, didn't love it. And for the price I thought the quality and quantity didn't justify getting it regularly.

                                                                                                          1. re: Jase

                                                                                                            it supers easy to drop upwards of 25 bucks and then perform a double take to yourself outside saying "how the fuck did that just happen ?????".

                                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                                              I don't mind paying for quality as long as I know what I'm getting into. I'm pretty conscious of menu prices even before I order anything. I like them but it's just not one of those things I want to pay for on a regular basis.

                                                                                                              If I'm going to drop $25/head before tip, there's plenty of places I'd rather go first for a sit down meal at that price level that also offers good food.

                                                                                                              LJ will just be one of those places I consider more of a treat for what it is, instead of a sandwich place I could hit more regularly for a meal.

                                                                                                              Nothing wrong with that and I wish them a lot of success so I can continue to have that option.

                                                                                      2. Has Little Jewel, the NOLA style joint, opened already ???????

                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                          Kevin, we are not open yet we are going through final B.O.H. inspections right now. As soon as we get them we will open the market first pretty quickly, then it will take a couple of weeks to bang out a soft menu of precursory items. ... before the final menu is in full effect. Feel free to check on this thread or to email me if you want any updates. Thanks! Markvsaugustvs@gmail.com

                                                                                          1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                            what's a BOH ??????????

                                                                                            thanks man.

                                                                                              1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                i see, cool, so hopefully maybe (?????) perhaps by the end of august, though i always understand city bureaucracy runs at a snail's pace usually.

                                                                                                is their an ABC license submitted and in the works, ?????

                                                                                                thanks man.

                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                  Yes fingers crossed but I'm not counting on anything in regards to them naturally. Beer and wine first we will apply for, and then the hard stuff later.

                                                                                                  1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                    Thank you for filling us in on the background information so far. The sausage selection sounds tremendous. Good luck in this great venture.

                                                                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                      Thank you for the well wishes, pretty soon (hopefully) we won't have time to quickly respond to all of you due to being open, so we really wanted to make time to speak to as many of you as we can. As I have said before, this has been a real labor of love and we look forward to meeting all of you in our market/deli. -Markvs and Eunah-

                                                                                                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                          Hope business goes well for you guys, I'll be over there nearby soon but I can't say with who or what concept but just keep faith and hang on because Chinatown will go through a big change, I just can't give out any details.

                                                                                                          1. re: Johnny L

                                                                                                            Cool, even closer and more accessible than GCM for me.

                                                                                                            1. re: JAB

                                                                                                              Ironically, we (Eunah and Myself) live right next door to GCM, we looked there but wanted a larger time period for hours of operation (*eventually we will be 24hrs), as well as physical space. Super happy to see what is happening there, however.

                                                                                                              1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                I think that you'll be fine there. You have Starry, Chego & Scoops in that one plaza with more to come there.

                                                                                          2. i was about to guess that the fleur de Lys was part o their logo/symbol.

                                                                                            http://littlejewel.la

                                                                                            1. I woke up in the middle of the night and sat bolt upright in bed: "Gumbo? What about gumbo? And jambalaya and etoufee?" Do I ask too much?

                                                                                              1. Honestly, I would think those items would be a given, my friend! Shooting for Chicken and Andouille, Seafood and vegetarian Gumbo z'Herbes "on the reg" for final menu after soft phase. More varieties of gumbo specials as well. Gumbo is my favorite stew on earth.

                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                  Alligator soup? Or is that legal? If farmed raised?

                                                                                                  1. re: mc michael

                                                                                                    It's legal, my momma just sent me some recently... along with some Cowan turtle. For me the alligator is for fried alligator bits (to dip in remoulade sauce), and the Louisiana Cowan turtles (with hardboiled egg yolk and sherry) are for the soup! ;)

                                                                                                    1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                      You better have all those great oddities on the menu. :)

                                                                                                      In addition to fried mirliton w crawfish sauce.

                                                                                                      And blackened drum fish topped with lump crab meat.

                                                                                                      And eggplant pirogue stuffed with a myriad of seafood.

                                                                                                      Enough said.

                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                        Stuffed Mirlaton, stuffed. You will have to watch our specials, because we will be pulling out all sorts of crazy stuff! :)

                                                                                                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                          ChefMarkvs,
                                                                                                          You know you've just signed on to producing one hell of a menu for us hungry folk, yeah?

                                                                                                          And while I got your attention, just a plug for cooking up some blackened gator to remind me of all the time I've spent (or wasted, depends on your inclination) at the Chimes in Baton Rouge...

                                                                                                2. Hey folk, is this screaming an opening week ChowMeet or what????????? (excess punctuation in honor of kevin's return)

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: jdwdeville

                                                                                                    It is but would that kind of rush be fair to the kitchen?

                                                                                                    1. re: mc michael

                                                                                                      Don't worry, we're not going to roll it all out at once, little bit at a time, we have a large repertoire to showcase and it will take time to do it right, naturally. Look for REAL Po'boys in the beginning, and we will grow from there.

                                                                                                    2. re: jdwdeville

                                                                                                      sounds dope to me.

                                                                                                      JL would you like to set it up ???????

                                                                                                      thanks.

                                                                                                    3. Stocking shelves in the market with some New Orleans, Louisiana, and Southern Regional favorites.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                        I like the pickled okra for a Bloody Mary. No doubt other stuff.

                                                                                                        1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                          I put a little minced pickled okra into hash brown potatoes.
                                                                                                          Makes them really come alive.

                                                                                                        2. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                          Looks good. Is olive spread in there? Looks like you went with CdM and French Market in lieu of Community. Uh-huh.
                                                                                                          This is taking shape.

                                                                                                          1. re: mc michael

                                                                                                            We have BOTH. :) Also, we will be making our own OLIVE SALAD, as we will be making Muffulettas!

                                                                                                              1. re: mc michael

                                                                                                                We'll reserve judgment on that until the taste test. :>)

                                                                                                          2. Been following this thread and just looked up the location. Talk about flash back. I remember eating here in one of its Chinese incarnations as a youngster and look forward to checking out Little Jewel. Wishing Chef Markvs and Eunah good mojo in their endeavor. My mouth hasn't watered this much from reading a thread since the opening of Animal.

                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: mpken

                                                                                                              Little Jewel Sausage tests. (BOUDIN, LOUISIANA RED HOTS, ANDOUILLE)

                                                                                                               
                                                                                                              1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                So excited to hear about this! I recently visited New Orleans for the first time and was very impressed by the food. Especially the bread, with the light texture and crust that shatters in your mouth. I was sorry that despite LA's great restaurants, there was no real New Orleans restaurant. Can't wait to come over and get a po'boy!

                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                        Like preaching to the choir. Now I have a few friends chomping at the bit for the full menu.

                                                                                                                    1. As an LA (not L.A.) native, I am eagerly awaiting this.

                                                                                                                      Aside from our kitchen, I've yet to find any Creole/Cajun place worth even a plugged nickel.

                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: a213b

                                                                                                                        As a N.O.,La.native, I agree and feel your pain. It is precisely why we are doing all this (*deli and market, as well). Come get your Camellias, Zapps, CDM, etc at our market!

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                          "Camellias?" What do you mean by that ChefMarkvs? You grilling Pie and Cheese?

                                                                                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                We will actually carry the full line of Camellia products at the Little Jewel of New Orleans Grocery & Deli.

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                                                yep. camellia's is the standard beans in NOLA kind of like for grits it's anson mills, i guess.

                                                                                                                              3. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                You may have to do more outreach, but I expect clientele will come to you if what you say is true and your daft dream (high praise, don’t get me wrong) pans out. Fervently hoping, and waiting impatiently, for the one little thing I dream of. Oyster Po’ boys. (Had the good fortune to eat at Parasol's [and a few other joints] a couple years ago. The heavens opened.)

                                                                                                                                Damn, I’m hungry again.

                                                                                                                                And, on a side note, I’m amused and heartened by how this thread has been hijacked! Thank you. ALL FOR GENTRIFICATION, RAISE THEIR HANDS.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: elgarito

                                                                                                                                    Cheers! And I promise, you'll get your oyster poboy!

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                      Oyster poboys! At this point I've enjoyed 3 or 4, and they seem to be getting bigger and more oyster-y. The last one dang near killed me with kindness though, or perhaps it was my own gluttony. Next time I will split one with a friend, and it will be soon.

                                                                                                                                      Chef Marcus, I noticed a flavor of... what? Worcestershire?

                                                                                                                                      Aside from that unexpected note (not complaining), the flavor is great, the portions way gigantic; texturally, still getting used to the light, corn mealy crunch. In lieu of using a slightly thicker batter, for those of us eating in, would you consider simply serving 'em openfaced as opposed to tightly wrapped?

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              4. The ONLY brand of red beans! Though Camellia Grill is one of my childhood favorites. Cannibal Burgers anyone?

                                                                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                  Fond memories of the Camellia Grill from my year down there--back then it was called the Cannibal Special, though, as I recall. However, I will be more than content with the goods you already indicated you will be bringing to the table!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: New Trial

                                                                                                                                      what's in the cannibal special ??????

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                        Cannibal Special, Raw hamburger, New Orleans version of Tartare.

                                                                                                                                        CANNIBAL BURGER

                                                                                                                                        INGREDIENTS:
                                                                                                                                        SERVES 4
                                                                                                                                        1 pound beef tenderloin, ground for steak tartare (ask your butcher)
                                                                                                                                        Salt and pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                        Cayenne or Tabasco® sauce to taste
                                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon paprika
                                                                                                                                        2 medium red onions [minced]
                                                                                                                                        1 bunch green onions [minced]
                                                                                                                                        1 cup Italian parsley [minced]

                                                                                                                                        PREPARATION:
                                                                                                                                        Mix red onions, green onions and parsley together and add 1 cup of this mixture to the rest of the ingredients. Shape the mixture into 4 medium hamburger patties and garnish the top with the rest of the onion and parsley mixture. Serve immediately on a hamburger bun.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                          that sounds dangerous.

                                                                                                                                          i'll skip out on that particular burger.

                                                                                                                                          that's one burger, i ain't down wit.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                            I'm with you. It has its fans for sure though.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                              yes, it gets cooked from acid in the vomit in your mouth from too much time in the quarter.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                Still it's probably safer than the cooked burgers at Clover Grill (aka Clever Girl) in the French Quarter. Not that I didn't eat those all the time as well.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                  ya gotta be a clever girl on that stretch of bourbon street but ive had a few there myself!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                    i liked clover grill's hub cap burgers.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                      The burgers that we will have at the Little Jewel will be more akin to Buds Broiler, because why mess with perfection .

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                        I like the music and burgers at snug harbor best...gotta hit up buds

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                          Always seems to be a Marsalis in the house.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                            Yes Snug Harbor is fantastic for the more gourmet burger, whereas Buds is the In n Out of New Orleans. Famous for their Hickory sauce and grated cheddar burgers.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                              cool, never tried it....what we need here is a f'ing krystal burger, but I know that not what you're going for chef.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                No we're not doing that, though in my youth I ate a bunch of them. The White Kastle of the South.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                      the only joint i'm down that i tried before for raw beef, and it was exceptional, and more of a one-time deal, no joke was totoraku.

                                                                                                                                          2. If I may kevin for a moment:

                                                                                                                                            When open ??????

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                                                                              I think it's uncertain based on permits, inspections and like that.

                                                                                                                                            2. Store is open but deli won't be running for a couple of weeks. What they did to the premises is amazing.

                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for starting the thread and keeping us updated.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                                                  chandvl did you hit it up yet ?????

                                                                                                                                                  thanks.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                    No, I'm waiting for the sandwiches to go on sale.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                                                      good point. sounds good, is it anywhere near Scoops Chinatown, or Chego, or Starry Kitchen, so i can hit em all up in one fell swoop ????

                                                                                                                                                      thanks man.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                        At Ord, between New High and Spring, it's not too far from Scoops and Chego, just a couple of blocks. A longer trek to Starry Kitchen, though.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                                                          i can do up to a 15 to 20 min walk so that should be good.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                            So you could also hit Starry Kitchen. Assuming you find someplace to park.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                                                    The deli portion will be open this Friday. It won't be a full menu, but it will certainly won't disappoint.

                                                                                                                                                    I stopped in to scout out the place, next door to ABC and down the street from Philippe's. At 6:30 PM there was street parking everywhere. I was able to park right across the street for $.25 a half hour. I wish parking was this good in Santa Monica. Chef Markus was a gracious and enthusiastic host who proceeded to treat me to a wonderful sampling of sausages with special sauces for dipping. One was the Louisiana Red Hot LInks, and the other was Charice; Both were uniquely delicious. One idea Markus had was to make the Charice into a breakfast sandwich, which sounded fantastic. I was eagerly anticipating the oyster and shrimp po boys, but now the sausage ones sound even better.

                                                                                                                                                  3. Stopped in yesterday. The place was empty, save for a table of elderly women at a table, chatting in Cantonese. I was greeted by a friendly young Asian woman, who showed me around a bit, and told me that the deli was going to start making po' boys next Friday, and beignets and coffee in the fall. The menu will eventually expend to include muffulettas and other Nola staples.

                                                                                                                                                    I picked up a jar of Blue Plate mayo, which I'd read knocks Best Foods out of the park, and it's true. It's delicious stuff, made with egg yolks instead of whole eggs, and has a really nice tangy flavor. It's not as neutral as BF/Hellmann's, but it doesn't have an overwhelming flavor, either. At $8.50 for a 32 oz. jar, it's *really* pricey, but it's simply not available for retail purchase outside of the south, so I sucked it up and bought it. I'm glad I did, though I don't know how often I'd be willing to schlep to Chinatown for mayonnaise.

                                                                                                                                                    I was surprised that most of the items in the store were standard convenience store fare. Beef jerky, pet food, candy and nuts, etc. There were 2 small racks filled only with Nola imports. Beans, hot sauce, seasonings, Zapp's potato chips, etc.

                                                                                                                                                    Eventually they're going to be selling cured and smoked meats like tasso and andouille (fyi to chef markvs... the lady helping me referred to it as "AN-dewey" instead of "ON-dewey" ;-), and the sausage is going to be made in house. Again, it's a schlep to Chinatown-- my tasso, andouille and cajun seasoning supplier has long been the butcher counters at 3rd & Fairfax farmer's market, which is a lot closer to my house. But if LJ's andouille is significantly better, I'll be there. Of course, if the po' boys, muffulettas and beignets are great, that'll be enough to get me out there for some Blue Plate and andouille shopping too.

                                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      Sorry that I missed you. Yeah, she's from New Jersey, so the AN-Douille thing is going to take some breaking. We don't officially open for sandwiches until Friday. The mayonnaise thankfully will be available at better prices now that I have established a decent supplier and don't have to fly it in and also will have a smaller size available. We have a convenience market also available for the locals in the neighborhood. More southern products are on their way as well. Rome wasn't built in a day, and there is a lag time on more of the "country store" type items from small vendors back home. Again, more is coming!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                        I look forward to seeing how this goes.

                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster
                                                                                                                                                        (of the Ocean County, New Jersey Tasters)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                          Thought 'hounds might enjoy reading my New Orleans trip report. It was my first visit (and my only one, so far), and I absolutely fell in love with the place. I was in charge of organizing a dinner for a group of pharmacy students who were in town for a conference, so my options were limited-- but I think we did pretty well considering the constraints of cost and geography. Still, I made the rounds, without a car.

                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8178...

                                                                                                                                                          I don't suppose char-grilled oysters are too much to ask for in LA? :) Chinese people love seafood, after all... if you can make them affordable to old Chinese and VN ladies, you'll have a built-in customer base!

                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                            i'll read it if it ain't too long.

                                                                                                                                                            i'm surprised you only made it now to your first visit.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                              I eventually have plans for char grilled oysters ( I'm a huge personal fan of those ) , just like you get it at Drago's, but at a later date. We have a large menu to work through that will eventually be fully represented. Starting off with the Po Boy sandwiches, some parish fair sandwiches, Crawfish Monica and Crawfish Casserole, and some desserts along with all this fresh made sausages and we will work our way from there. All of this stuff is pretty labor intensive in the preparation department and availability, so I'm definitely not trying to kill my crew. That being said at the end of the day I want to have absolutely everything we can have in the deli. This I take as a personal commitment as well as one to my Los Angeleno audience. :) On Mondays we will have red beans and rice, as is the tradition in the Crescent City

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                                "On Mondays we will have red beans and rice, as is the tradition in the Crescent City."

                                                                                                                                                                I love this.
                                                                                                                                                                Eating RB&R on Mondays for the sole reason that that's the day that one eats RB&R, is especially exciting.

                                                                                                                                                                I know you've got your hands full and supply issues are daunting, but I'd be willing to pay a little more if you can get your crawfish from the US rather than China.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bjartmarr

                                                                                                                                                                  You will have a Louisiana crawfish in the season and they will be market price. :)

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                            We made a special trip Friday 8/22, had fried oyster po’boys. They are good, big, and surely the best I’ll find in this or any burg west of Parasols. There were the expected opening day gremlins (so what) but Chef Marcus kindly made up for a dropped order with free andouille sausage from the cold case, and even offered cooking tips. The kitchen was a blur of activity, wish I’d shot a little video. It did not disappoint, and I’m itchin’ to go back today. But I won’t, because that would be wrong. I saw some monster meatball sandwiches that looked too daunting for one person.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: elgarito

                                                                                                                                                              why would that be wrong to go back again ????

                                                                                                                                                          3. Anyone aware of Pan Chi Sujo buying ABC Seafood, next door to ChefMarkvs and his new place?

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. Anyone know their hours, particularly Sunday?

                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Xan7hos

                                                                                                                                                                I can help you with that, gladly. 7am we open the market, kitchen at 10:30 till 8 p.m. (loosely). If we, are busy at close, we stay open. That's our hours for now, but we will be expanding them, as we train more crew to meet hopefully needed demand. :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you Chef, I'll be stopping by later today! You may consider updating your facebook and yelp pages as I wasn't able to locate hours of operation on either (even if they are tentative).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                                    the bread was great.

                                                                                                                                                                    are the shrimp and oysters from the gulf of mexico ????

                                                                                                                                                                    any chance in serving gumbo soon ???

                                                                                                                                                                    thanks Chef Mark.

                                                                                                                                                                    it seems like you're doing great business just a few days in and you're super convenient to chego and scoops for a three-part lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                      Louisiana shrimp yes, oysters too (as long as they stay nice). The season is "small". We will be doing gumbo eventually but I prefer to do seafood gumbo in season. Keep in mind to do actual seafood gumbo with all of the ingredients it will have a fairly challenging price.. In the meantime I plan to do chicken and andouille Gumbo shortly. Also Gumbo Z'Herbes.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                                        lol, If you are taking suggestions, I'd love me some rabbit and andouille jambalaya!

                                                                                                                                                                        ;)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Los Angeles Chinatown same can be said about Little Tokyo Japanes Village going on with Korean slow take over. I wish something could be done to mark them as historical significance. It pains me to see these locations lose their identity all in the name of the dollar bill.

                                                                                                                                                                    24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dolorio

                                                                                                                                                                      The area currently known as Chinatown was originally French to begin with. That's why we have street names like Vignes and Beaudry and a statue of Joan of Arc at Hill and College.

                                                                                                                                                                      The area currently known as Chinatown was previous an Italian American neighborhood too, which is why you have the Italian House in the middle of Olvera St Plaza.

                                                                                                                                                                      One storefront on Ord shouldn't pain you, any more than the demolition of Little Joe's or the construction of the 101 freeway did.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dolorio

                                                                                                                                                                        Pacific Alliance Medical Center in Chinatown was formerly known as French Hospital.

                                                                                                                                                                        Most businesses in J-town have been Korean-owned for quite some time now. The Japanese-American exodus from J-town began way back, since WWII.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                                                                          Most have been Korean-owned for "quite some time"? No. I think it's still mostly Japanese American, though Korean-American ownership of real estate is a big thing there. The migration of the community out of the businesses didn't start happening until the 1990s. WW2 was a different thing - forced removal to concentration camps. People came back to LT afterward, living in the area, but redevelopment (and a prior wave of investment in the 70s) basically tore down what housing had been there, so people moved to other areas. The residents there were either moderate income or were seniors.

                                                                                                                                                                          Also, there were JA communities all over the region, so it isn't as simple as a general movement from LT to other areas. LT's problem has always been to attract the far-flung residents to the downtown area to spend money.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wildgift

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, the Korean migration is still rather new, as a young Korean population migrated to living near there. Still LT has changed quite a bit in the last 10 years as well. It has benefited from the transit oriented communities surrounding it, it's proximity to DTLA and the arts district. I'm pretty pleased on what it has become. I miss the outpost of Mandarin Deli but I'm still glad a new generation of insomniac trouble makers are still filling up Suehiro...

                                                                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                              I so miss the China Town and Little Tokyo Mandarin Delis. I still travel out to Mandarin Noodle House, which I believe is somehow affiliated, in Monterey Park, for my fix.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                LOL, for me it's like "nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded." I went to LT and the arts district a lot more when it wasn't so crowded and active. Now it's not so relaxing. Unless I am going to meet people there, it's a no-go zone now :(

                                                                                                                                                                                I feel happy for the people who work there, though. There were times when businesses were closing left and right. That's always a bummer.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: wildgift

                                                                                                                                                                                  arts district is so difficult these days. Even two or three years ago it wasn't nearly so crowded. I remember parking right next to wurstkuche whenever I'd go. Now I have to pay or wait forever.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                    Keep in mind that part of the reason that these areas are booming is their promiximity to the metro lines. So do as the local do!

                                                                                                                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                      gonna be exciting when that line goes across Wilshire!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                                                                                                          They are underway and supposedly less than a decade for Wilshire/la cienega....we'll see

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/07...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jessejames

                                                                                                                                                                                            Whoops. Mis-read your post. Thought you meant when it terminates at the VA (which would be the most important stop for those of us [like me] who live west of the 405). But Wilshire/La Cienega is exciting, too. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Can't wait for the Expo to be completed!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            About food: I think I'll be visiting Downtown LA more to eat once the final Expo extension opens. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                                                                                                              CC to DTLA is a breeze a already. The Expo line is only getting better.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ever since the CC station opened, it's a regular thing for me to take it downtown, little Tokyo, Chinatown and Ktown. No more traffic and parking headaches and I get a lot of reading done on the train.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And when it hits Santa Monica, I presume that I'll be able to take the Big Blue Bus to one of the stations.... Which means that I might be able to get from my home to DTLA all through a combo of walking and public transit. No more having to worry about parking again or wasting gas in traffic!!! WOO-HOO!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exciting both our city's real progress in public transport and a Santa monicans yen for DTLA. Bringing us together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The 720 bus already goes crosstown. It's not that slow compared to driving. It's just a bouncy ride.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: wildgift

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The wheels on the bus go round and round...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: wildgift

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is true. Always looking for more options.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Expo is faster, smoother, more comfortable, and hits different points on the way to DTLA. Plus, it offers some park and ride opportunities. Just glad this stuff is getting done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: wildgift

                                                                                                                                                                                                        You know, for whatever reason, I've always been partial to light rail, in any city I'm in that has relatively good public transport. Not sure why. I think I mind the multiplicity of bus routes rather intimidating (although obviously that wouldn't apply to a single bus line).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is very common preference. When given the choice, people will pick rail over bus. And actually part of the reason why there have been some delays in the rail construction. There is an avid bus advocate network (Which keep in mind, many of those working SO hard to feed us rely on, check out how many chefs whites you see late at night on the 720)thankfully the tack of "rail for rich people/rundown buses for po'folk" has dissipated in this city somewhat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Off topic (in terms of food, at least): yeah, I was trying to think why I prefer the rail vs. bus. When I look at a bus schedule, I just "see" a very intimidating grid of numbers that have no context. Because rails generally *are* less extensive and can be shown diagramatically (is that even a word?), I find them easier to understand. I think it's the same reason I find the Big Blue Bus less intimidating. Smaller geographic range, and I can "see" the path of the various routes in my head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also just hate often buses stop! Argh! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've often thought it'd be nice if the LA buses specifically connected the various rails (maybe they already do? again, I can't really understand the schedules and stops!)....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The trains connect with each other at Union Station and the 7th St. Station. So you could start on the red, and then transfer to expo at 7th.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The 720 during the evening rush hour sucks, but in the morning and during the day, it's okay. It starts at 5th and Main and ends near the parking lot south of the 3rd St. Promenade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Every other bus goes all the way through East LA to the City of Commerce. This is why a lot of the workforce uses it. It was actually supposed to be replaced by the original red line, but the funding for it was blocked.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                i have to say the parking situation in Chinatown is still great. and the meters are dirt cheap compared to say the CBD, er rather old bank district, or 7th and Fig circa areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. mark, at 16 bucks, those shrimp/oyster po boys are incredibly expensive though already.

                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                      I could serve you farmed versions, asian sweatshop scrimps, half orders, but that ain't rite. The half and half is the most expensive Po'boy. I guess you just have expensive tastes.;) Check the menu, there's lots of more affordable stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                                                          There's nothing wrong with farmed oysters and catfish, but I'm glad to hear you're skipping the asian sweatshop shrimp. The food costs what it costs; I won't be eating it every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bjartmarr

                                                                                                                                                                                            I beg to differ on the farm stuff, to me it's pretty flavorless, because its not picking up the flavorings of the natural ecosystem. The sediment alone gives seafood a spectacular earthy or muddy type flavoring in the Gulf. Also when you have seafood that comes from brackish water you always have a more flavorful, almost preseasoned product. Seafood is expensive but again there's lots of different options on the menu and I appreciate everybodys support and opinions.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                            That is just food cost, Shrimp and Oysters from the gulf are expensive and he's putting in a good amount so most likely he's not making more on it than anything else. Good seafood costs (and makes a big difference in taste) you should know that from you time with Shunji.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AAQjr

                                                                                                                                                                                              I actually make little on the high end ones. But you can't NOT have em. Seafood ain't cheap folks. Just peruse any of the menus of New Orleans restaurants in your see that I'm going easy on y'all. In fact, my friends back home think that I'm giving it to you too cheap! But i don't, I want to turn as many people on to our cuisine as possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChefMarkvs

                                                                                                                                                                                                And you are doing a great job. Enough seafood talk (for a moment). Your Cochon de Lait and Roast Beef Po' Boys are fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Lessez Le Bon Temps Rouler - Dis LA has some of dat one...finally. Thanks Chef V.!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad to hear the place meets with your approval, Bob. That gives me hope. I'll need to get down there soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: AAQjr

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok, i hear you. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                maybe i was just channelling my inner Mr. Taster. (insert trademark designation here)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. While maybe not having anything to do with gentrification, there are changes happening, meaning sales of restaurants:
                                                                                                                                                                                              It appears that both ABC Seafood and JR's Bistro are both in escrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the update. The name you mentioned for ABC seems to be associated with Song Hay Inn on Griffth Park Blvd., one of my least favorite places in LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I checked my records, and yes, he WAS the former owner of Song Hay on Griffith Park, and one of my least favorite places as well. But might that have been that he only had about 1,000 sq. ft. of space and could really only do take-out, as opposed to the scale of ABC which permits many options, including keeping it the way it has seemingly been forever?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jr's is indeed going thru ownership change, but the chef is still going to be there; Same menu and all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                        wow, that is news.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        where you the one to report on this turn of events for LA Eater ??????????

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                          No, I only read about it from them. I did tell them about b.o.s.'s impending closure...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wonder if they have been talking to the developers of the Blossom Project now under construction next to the Gold Line Station(?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I do not think Pok Pok would be that great of a fit in LA really.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The comments on the story suggesting they open in the West Side would be the only way for it to make any sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would guess Ricker thinks the same set that goes to Chego is who he would want to actually target though. Maybe he's right, and he can just ride his name to success.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            For people who know Thai in LA, Pok Pok coming there is fairly meaningless other than as a form of celebrity worship.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                              To me, having Pok Pok here is kind of like Roy Choi's POT. That is, I think the vast majority of customers will be non-Thai who are too intimidated by language barrier or other factors to explore and find the gems of Thai Town. I think that's a big part of Night+Market's success too. As I said in the comments on that post, I'd love for more authentic Thai on the Westside, and if that's Pok Pok, that'd be great. But it seems like everyone wants to be in Chinatown...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pretty much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But where Night + Market is, at least from my experiences there, different than, and a notch above the standard Thai gems in LA (which are already incredible), Pok Pok is not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pok Pok is more like Wat Dong Moon Lek than Night + Market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now we're too good for Pok Pok? Please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pok Pok *always* brings something to the table, even one as crowded as Thai food in LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sure, it's not as exciting as it might have been 7-8 years ago. Okay, Night+Market is better. But let's not act like Ricker isn't slinging solid food. No reason to try and drop a fat snobby turd on what would be another addition to what is already an embarrassment of riches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agreed completely. I think the food is really, really good. Maybe a level below night + market and pailin, but still upper echelon thai food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, while I'd love it to be on the Westside, the rents are so crazy that I understand the obstacles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Night + Market on the West Side seems to do pretty good. Or do they lose money at that location due to rent?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think when people here are saying West Side, they are referring to West of the 405--Santa Monica, Venice, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, it's just my opinion obviously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But other than adding a more convenient option to a new location, I don't see what Pok Pok offers to LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do not personally feel it offers anything new in terms of new cuisine. Sure, it's solid cuisine. If you were to move to Portland for example, you would exuberant to have Pok Pok (and the rest of Ricker's places) there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would really be interested to know what you think, speaking strictly food wise, what Pok Pok brings to the LA Thai table?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The famous khao soi is about on par with the khao soi at Wat Dong Moon Lek.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The famous game hens are not as good as the chicken at Isaan Station.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's larbs and grilled meats trail behind in intensity of rich flavors, and textures compared to Night + Market's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not against Pok Pok coming to LA. But it would feel wrong for them to get more press than any of the other Thai places in LA just because they cater to white people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the other hand, perhaps I am underestimating Ricker; perhaps he would take into account how good it is in LA and pull out a lot more stops for an LA Pok Pok.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think you've hit the nail on the head with the concept of celebrity worship.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In my opinion, Ricker is one of the most fascinating people in the food world. A random white guy (not formally trained from what I gathered by watching his documentary) who became so obsessed with Thai food that he became a master at it! Speaks fluent Thai. Has a host of Thai friends. Travels with Bourdain!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's a testament to obsession and being a hound, I can more than appreciate an obsession to food. He is perhaps the most interesting person I follow on twitter. The random shit he eats in Chiang Mai is enthralling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This man has literally dedicated his life to cooking northern Thai food! Wtf. It's unfathomable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It seems half the hype of his food is his story. But damn does he have a story to tell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wrote this before learning that Ricker will actually live in LA for the new Pok Pok, and presumably cook there as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I find him interesting enough to go eat there based on having the cooking done by him, and maybe getting to meet him. His story is indubitably great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For some reason I did not foresee him being so dedicated as to actually move to LA for this. Anything that gets someone like Ricker to live in LA is pretty much a good thing at the end of the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am actually more interested for the Ricker/Choi/Yembamroong mashup that is going to follow at some point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At the very least, you can already sense that there will probably be a Ricker/Choi concept at some point, maybe something fast-casual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That said, (and I pretty much do agree with you) Pok Pok's wings are damn fine...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jdwdeville

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eh, sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was being a little harsh at first. My opinion has changed since Ricker said he'll be living here and cooking in the restaurant himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I suspect the original location isn't afire with the magic he imparted when he was in the kitchen, no matter how rigorous his quality control is. Perhaps the food will be far better with him actually cooking it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And, to be fair, there isn't technically any great thai food in the downtown/chinatown area, so it's not a total waste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's just that I don't know that it deserves hype for the food yet; that being said, there is some actual celebrity appeal to eating what Ricker himself cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There must be some reason he won best chef northwest. And besides that, he's a completely fascinating individual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apparently it will be in the Mandarin Plaza. Sounds like a done deal, so no new Thai for the Westside: http://la.eater.com/archives/2014/09/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On the bright side, I've worked downtown for years, and there have been no good thai options around here. This changes that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is true. The main advantage is definitely curing that ailment of downtown dining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder if Night + Market would ever create a location there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, what about Sticky Rice at GCM? I haven't been able to bring myself to try it, but it seemed like it got ok reviews.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's decent. It started really good, but it has lost a step. There may have been some turnover in who is cooking the food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What about Mae Ploy? Too far? Halfway to Thai Town... food-wise as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Edit: I forgot about the big store next to Chinatown, LAX-C. There's a little restaurant in the complex, and it's so-so but acceptable. The food area inside the big store is good and spicy. I don't know the other vendors there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Really weird, because the people who are crowding Pok Pok in Portland are almost all the same type of people who live on the West Side of LA. Heck, when I was there, several tables were literally from the West Side of LA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wonder how he decided on the location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I assume he looked at the rent and it was immediately a no-brainer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why? Pok Pok is most likely going to be successful no matter where it is located.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tons of restaurants do exist on the West Side. It's not like it's impossible to make money there...is it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or do places like Tar & Roses, Rustic Canyon, the Mozza's, Salt's Cure, Night + Market, etc... all just hemorrhage money?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can you imagine the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth if he charged price points like: Tar & Roses, Rustic Canyon, the Mozza's, Salt's Cure..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AAQjr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He charges prices pretty close to Tar & Roses, and Rustic Canyon in Portland, OR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So my guess is...none at all?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pok Pok menu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.pokpokpdx.com/menu/mainmenu/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tar and Roses menu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://tarandroses.com/wp-content/upl...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cull what you will from this. I know what my bills look like from both restaurants, but I'll let individuals judge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        just taking a wild guess, but I'm thinking Pok Pok is still cheaper ???????????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Same prices basically, minus the large plates at Tar and Roses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I often don't order the large plates there, the small plates are more interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pretty similar bills from my experiences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Remind me, have you actually eaten at Pok Pok?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The food at Pok Pok is a whole lot better than the food at Tar & Roses, so I'd suggest this comparison just means Tar & Roses is overpriced small plates nonsense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a big fan of Pok Pok. I think the level of cooking and the sourcing of ingredients is far above most of the places in Thai town. But don't take my word for it--here's Jonathan Gold yesterday on Pok Pok:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "When I went to the first Pok Pok in Portland the year it opened, I was sure it was like nothing I'd ever tasted before - Andy Ricker's emphasis on highly flavored drinking food from the north was unusual, and extremely well prepared. Can we get a few of those dishes here at places like Night + Market and Lacha Som Tum? Sure. But I love the idea of being able to eat Ricker's food without going to PDX or Brooklyn."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm with you, though I'd say that the food at Pok Pok is different than Tar & Roses. I won't say one is better than the other. Apples and oranges for me, but I get you. There's a

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The cocktail list alone at Pok Pok has me excited. A plate of those wings sound pretty good, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not trying to be offensive, but, I think the PDX Pok Pok has probably slide downhill without its founder in the kitchen then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wouldn't say the food there was a whole lot better than Tar & Roses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really like Thai food a lot, and I find Tar & Roses to have poor service, but the food is pretty good. Kind of hard for me to understand how you could say the food is bad there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am hoping Pok Pok with Ricker in the kitchen is much better than the current PDX Pok Pok.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. the website is up now too, with it's menu and pics:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://littlejewel.la

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. now what we really need in LA is a great sushi bar, and then we'll be more than set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. damn, that is dope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    but offalo you did write about way in advance of the LA Times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At least Ricker will actually be doing the cooking. Maybe it'll be a chance to see what the opening days of Pok Pok was like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I knew Choi must have convinced him. In a business sense, I suppose Choi is right, it is a bit of a game changer for Chinatown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know nothing about Ricker/PokPok other than reputation, and for this I am super excited

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Pok Pok Phat Thai, the pad Thai noodle shop that debuted in New York, will open at Far East Plaza at 727 Broadway."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        TonyC in 3...2...1...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tony c, in 3, 2, 1 ?????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          what does that mean ????????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TonyC is coming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Say that in your best Game of Thrones voice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh, well… i think there's some in joke here. and that ain't no joke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              is he not a fan of pok pok, yeah, i just heard it made head waves in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'd like to see that Mission Chinese Food joint in LA too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                is he not a fan of pok pok
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ---------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                he's got tattoos all up and down his arms, so doubtful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm actually waiting for him to chime in. I've never been to Pok Pok myself and if it weren't for CH I'd have never heard of him/it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You should tone down your excitement probably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Having had his pad thai at his noodle specialization shop, Sen Yai, in Portland, it's not going to knock your socks off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He makes it good, just as good as any place in Thai town...but, you already have Thai town right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              He makes it good, just as good as any place in Thai town...but, you already have Thai town right now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              does he charge $14 for it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nah, I think like $9.95. Maybe up to $14 for seafood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Euxodus. I think the problem is simple. Pad thai sucks. Weird flavor profiles. An awkward sweet sometimes coupled with intense heat. A dull preparation of shrimp. Nothing fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd describe it as the chili cheese fries of Thailand. Maybe a greasy bean and cheese burrito. An LA street dog. Decent drunk food. Sometimes you can really crave it. But it ain't really a dish worth celebrating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pad thai is awesome the same way California rolls are awesome - deliciously gringo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    California rolls is a perfect comparison. It sucks but kinda doesn't suck. If you're in the mood it can be decent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am interested in Ricker's other noodle dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Really hoping for a good pad ma ma! (As a study abroad student in Bangkok, I survived on pad ma ma. One dollar. Heaping plate of noodles and chicken. Fifty cents for a coke or fifty cents for a beer. Those were the days.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So to extend that metaphor for pad thai...can you imagine anyone getting super excited over a place dedicated to serving California rolls?...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hopefully Ricker does his version of pad mama in LA. It wasn't on the Pok Pok menu in Portland though, so have to keep the fingers crossed for that. It's probably $10 instead of $1, but I bet the chicken will be free range...I guess maybe all the chicken in Thailand is free range anyway though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Eudoxus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hah. I'm hoping for a california roll and pad thai mash up. Best of both worlds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A friend swears by green curry poured over pad thai. The atrocity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          IIRC, 26 Beach Cafe makes a California Roll-burger mashup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    >An awkward sweet sometimes coupled with intense heat. A dull preparation of shrimp. Nothing fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WTH? There's bean sprouts and onion, chives, lime, tofu. That's fresh. And it's only sweet if they use that weird orange sauce. If they use tamarind pulp, it's a different flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And a good B&C burrito is awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: wildgift

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alright there are bean sprouts and onions and chives and lime. I dunno about you but when I think fresh veggies I don't think cold from the refrigerator bean sprouts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A lime is a lime. An onion is an onion. Do you consider a Dodger Dog fresh because you can get some chopped onions next to the ketchup? Are you really advocating tofu as fresh? How many Thai spots are making their own tofus?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess what I'm saying is part of the allure of Thai food for me is those fruits and veggies. Tart mango. Fresh mango. Papaya. Mangosteen. Starfruit. Every random as hell leaf they use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A bean sprout doesn't really do it for me, but to each their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thai food is so outrageously intricate with its ingredients that often seem incredibly random. Why would you eat a dish with chives, onions and bean sprouts? It just doesn't seem like that is what you are eating Thai food for. It's an ok starter dish before you know any better, but once you actually dive into the cuisine, it just stops making sense to order it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: set0312

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ok ok. you're a picky foodie. technically, isn't a sack of bean sprouts categorically fresher than edible fruit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: wildgift

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    good thing there's no natto nor goat cheese in Northern/NE Thai food =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      natto is dope especially doused with a little packet of soy and some chinese mustard, place that shit on top of some rice and you have yourself a mighty fine breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        not sure if the yoshinoyas do that here, but the natto, eggs, rice and seaweed pickerupper strips were a fun and healthy breakfast back when I was in tokyo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: TonyC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        if there were, i imagine he'd have learned to like it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. This question is directed to the owner. Do you sell Andouille Sausage and Crawfish by the pound? I love to visit this market to stock up on my Cajun needs...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: stefansky90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From their website, definitely andouille, but don't think crawfish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: stefansky90

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This weekend's sale at Epicure Imports in NoHo includes your sausage needs, if so inclined to find your way to NoHo.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another post regarding that sale has already been posted. Much charcuterie available on either Friday, meaning today, or Saturday, Andouille included.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          First-hand experience is the trump card here, but the product list for Epicure Imports does not list Andouille. Have you purchased that from Epicure Imports before? I think I'll finally take your lead and make it to the sale this weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As a side note, LJ's andouille will be fresh. Not sure about Epicure Imports.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Generally Epicure does have Andouille from I think Fabrique Délices. But I don't know if compared to the fresh made LJ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great! That's a solid brand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm excited to check out Epicure for the first time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just returned. Zoo-like at 11:30, yet by 2-4pm, things settle down, and the place is much more manageable. If no parking on the lot, the candle lot across the street and south a few buildings is also utilized for this sale, with no dire consequences.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But if you need a charcuterie, butter or sausage fix today, this is the place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also open on Saturday, but more crowded, fwiw!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If by fresh you mean uncured or smoked, I am positive the andouille I had from LJ was cured and smoked, smoked for sure!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Burger Boy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah! Sloppy of me. I only meant not frozen. LJ's is made in house and refrigerated, from what I saw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I only ever see the Fabrique Délices brand frozen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. OK... Count me as a fan. Think the oyster po boy is legit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Went by last Thursday night, and there was not ONE customer in LJ, and that was about 6:30pm, or so.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is this just a daytime operation, or is there a nighttime business available here?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ABC Seafood next door was modestly busy, hardly very busy, but the comparison was quite significant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i had some concerns too because it was empty when i went around noon. within minutes, the place was packed. the po boys are excellent so hopefully, the place gets a foothold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cdub

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                it seems to be more of a daytime joint, since they're essentially serving po boys which for lack of a better term are sandwiches and other lunch counter style eats via NOLA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                can't wait to go back and try one more of those fried shrimp po boys and bread pudding with whisky sauce (blissfuly sans raisins for a novel raison d' etre).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  having some beer in the coolers may allow for a later crowd.