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"Chef" The Film & It's Food

Saw "Chef" The Film over the weekend and I think most Chowhhounds would truly enjoy this wonderful film. Truly entertaining. Warning you will leave the theater very hungry. Article from LA Times has food recommendations for after you see the film:

Kogi (Roy Choi was the great food consultant and co-producer)

For Cuban: Versailles in Culver City, Los Angeles, Encino and Manhattan Beach; Porto's Bakery & Café in Burbank, Glendale and Downey; Xiomara on Melrose in Los Angeles.

For grilled cheese: Greenspan's Grilled Cheese in Los Angeles, Heywood Grilled Cheese in Silver Lake, Fred 62 in Los Feliz.

For Texas-style barbecue: Bludso's in Compton, Bludso's Bar-&-Que in Los Angeles, Horse Thief BBQ at Grand Central Market, Smoke City Market in Van Nuys.

For pasta: Angelini Osteria in Los Angeles, Bestia in downtown Los Angeles, Bucato in Culver City.

Enjoy the film and the food….

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  1. I think we will all dream of Austin's Franklin BBQ Texas brisket sliders. Does anyone in LA serve anything like that?

    6 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      This is probably a different kind of bbq than the one you're talking about, but I've become a big fan of Hiatus Urban BBQ at San Vicente and La Brea. The owner, Andrew, does four "proteins" and combines them with a slaw, sauce and topping. You can have a plate, salad or sandwich. He shops at the farmers market, and the slaws are incredible...kale/apple, radicchio/blue cheese, crunchy ramen and broccoli. He does a bacon onion jam that is killer. So far I've had the brisket and the pork....both excellent. The website explains it better than
      I do. And it's very reasonable.

      1. re: perk

        That sounds pretty enticing. Here's a link to the site:

          1. re: wienermobile

            Please add Big Mista to the BBQ list. Anyone know when their downtown location will open? http://bigmista.com

            1. re: wienermobile

              Plus 1 on Big Mista ... superb pork ribs

              1. re: sanstonsils

                Another Big Mista's fan - their brisket is flavorful and oh so tender.

    2. I took my Mom to see it and we both enjoyed it! Even at 2 hours in length, I felt like it moved along at a good pace. The storyline was interesting and believable, the casting spot-on. I give it 4 tacos!

      19 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          Today on Twitter, Choi, who was food consultant for the movie, retweeted Favreau: "@RidingShotGunLA is doing an #ElJefePopUp@theLineHotelLA 5/15 8-11. If you thought his #cubano looked good in Chef, wait til you taste it.
          A spokeswoman for Pot confirmed that an El Jefe pop-up would take place Thursday at Pot.

            1. re: Dommy

              Does anyone know if it's a food truck in the Line Hotel's Parking lot or it's actually served inside Pot restaurant ?

                1. re: TheOffalo

                  Thanks, will try to make it after Clipper's game.

                  1. re: wienermobile

                    Little more info on the "CHEF" pop up at POT 8pm-11pm on Thursday 5/15….
                    "There's no word on whether Favreau himself will be making Cubanos. On Thursday's menu are El Jefe's Cubano sandwiches (traditionally made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard) for $7, guava cheesecake for $3, El Jefe cake for $3 and beer and mojito drink specials. The regular menu and bar service at Pot Lobby Bar and Pot Cafe also will be available. Tunes by "Chef" music supervisor DJ Mathieu Schreyer. "

                    1. re: wienermobile

                      Bonus: The first 100 guests also get a movie poster.

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          Did anyone make it to the pop up last night?

                          1. re: wienermobile


                            But come guys, please don't spoil the actual movie for me as I have not seen it yet for crying out loud. :)

                            1. re: kevin

                              oh, c'mon. You can pretty much figure out the plot and how it ends without even seeing it! LOL

                              1. re: Novelli

                                Spolier "they eat a lot of really good food and no one dies".

                                1. re: wienermobile

                                  damnit, thanks wiener.

                                  thanks a lot for spoiling the whole action-packed, edge of your seat cooking demonstrations.

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    Spoiler 2….Or I forgot the pig dies at the beginning….

                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                      Will you please stop it Wiener. You're ruining it for me. :)

                              2. re: wienermobile

                                Staying at the Line. The pop-up was held at the lobby café. Cubano sandwiches, mojitos, desserts. Was having coffee earlier in the afternoon and Roy was in the lobby--staff was hanging posters, a small model truck "El Jefe" was on the counter.

                                Came back at around 8:30 or so and the line had dissipated. Didn't see Jon Favreau in attendance, and since we were coming back from dinner, didn't stop for anything to eat.

            1. re: JAB

              Mostly LA, but also Miami, New Orleans and Austin. A true food lovers journey of the USA.

              1. re: wienermobile

                Gee, looks like LA may be a foodie destination after all (g)...What a shock!

            2. "heywood" is definitely legit.

              3 Replies
                1. re: wienermobile

                  their namesake is the second coming of christ.

                  The Heywood – $12
                  Our 2-year aged English cheddar with a caramelized onion confit spread onto fresh whole grain bread.

                2. re: ns1

                  They may well be legit, and the sandwiches for the most part look really good, but aren't we all tired of "curated"? At least I didn't see anything called "artisanal" …

                3. For a Cubano, Del Rey Kitchen is the best I've had in L.A. by FAR. Saw the film last week and it was a total Macho Fairytale (Novela actually based on the ending) but they did a great job with the food porn shots. Hmmmmm...


                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Dommy

                    Del Rey Kitchen has a Cuban sandwich?

                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                      Gah! Thanks for the catch... That should be Del Rey Deli -



                      1. re: Dommy

                        Thank you! Will have to try it - I had given up on finding a good Cuban here

                          1. re: Dommy

                            Thanks Dommy! Looks nice -- toasty, melty, tangy and porky! Looking forward.

                            1. re: Dommy

                              How do they do replicating that elusive bread?

                              1. re: Wayno

                                The bread is off. But not so much that it distracts from the overall goodness of what is inside. This is the best Cuban in L.A. Not best Cuban in Miami.


                          2. re: Dommy

                            Too many Del Rey places. I had previously already gotten DRK confused with Cafe Del Rey.

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              I KNOW! I've been trying to get my CWs to Del Rey Kitchen now that they serve lunch. "Oh! Cafe Del Rey... yeah, it's great... But a bit spendy for lunch" NOOOOOoooo...


                      2. Congrats to my buddy Jon (Favreau) on another apparent cult favorite!

                        1. Does this film have cgi or gratuitous car chases? If the answer is no, count me in.

                          1 Reply
                          1. I did enjoy the movie, but it does have some flaws. Without spoiling the movie.. Two things...

                            1. A restaurant critic who announces publicly that he's going to a specific restaurant at a specific date? It's odd. And it seemed a little hammered in to make the plot work - where the chef is at odds with the owner.

                            2. Complications in the second act seem to peter out. So it doesn't feel like much of a story. Which is off, because running a restaurant has complications that pop up everyday. It would have been easy to make the movie better in that regard. And odd they didn't because Mr. Choi was involved. I suspect Mr. Favreau had an idea and Choi just went along with it - because, you know it's the movies and you're allowed to make up shit. (shouldn't be that way - accuracy is interesting).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                              1. He was modeled more as an obnoxious food blogger rather than a by the book restaurant critic. I don't think any restaurant critic would be allowed to get away with a twitter war either...

                              2. We saw it at WGA event and my friends had the same complaint, until I I pointed out it followed the Novela convention (more internal angst than external as the world around them 'repairs' itself), right down to the ending... It's not a typical tack for these types of films, but for a vanity project, absolutely.


                            2. Loved the movie, the food scenes are inspiring.

                              1. I still haven't seen it.

                                So it before, or after, or both ????????????????????

                                1. Looks like JF did a lot of training for his role judging by the previews!

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: jessejames

                                    He's been that 'stout' since about Iron Man 2...


                                    1. re: Dommy

                                      ha! then lots of training for the role of a lifetime! I do like JF. Hope to see movie soon.

                                  2. Just saw the film. Thanks for the heads up....I went to dinner beforehand. Don't know if I would have gotten through it hungry. And although I had been dreading going to the dentist next week....the good news now is that his office is right by Porto's and I WILL have a Cubano!

                                    1. Saw it last night...if you go in accepting that the movie is a fairy tale, you'll should really enjoy it. Don't think too hard, or start picking apart the movie or else your brain will start hurting...like I did.

                                      For example:

                                      1. Creative chef makes by the book traditional sandwiches and sides in his food truck...which for some reason creates a buzz? And these sandwiches, which look no different that anything I've had in Miami or NYC, prompt the food critic to want to fund his restaurant?

                                      2. Why does Dustin Hoffman hire a chef on the rise to cook hotel food? And why would Favreau have ever accepted the offer? They keep mentioning sweetbreads, but when we see Favreau cook at home he prepares Carne Asada and other fairly safe dishes.

                                      3. Why is he butchering a pig in the opening scene? It's clear the only pork he'll serve at the restarant are the prime cuts.

                                      4. Why does he go the Vergara's ex for money...she lives in what looks like a 5-10 mm house in brentwood (?)...how is borrowing from your ex's ex better than your ex your still on good terms with?

                                      5. Favreau, a broke, overweight chef, is screwing two of the hottest actresses in Hollywood!

                                      Despite all these flaws and more, the movie somehow works and is a pleasant way to spend two hours.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: manku

                                        I completely agree with these criticisms. #1 bothered me the most. His traditional Cuban can be found most everywhere and it takes off in Miami, the home of them?! #5 troubled me too but that is more expected.

                                        1. re: manku

                                          I agree. Now that I've finally seen it.

                                          1. re: manku

                                            Agree, there's plenty that makes it, as you say, a fairy tale, but what a great fairy tale ! :-) And hey, if I could, I'd write in Scarlett J. and Sofia V. as my love interests too ! That's amazing !!!

                                            1. re: mikester

                                              Those two are quite easy on the old eyes I must say.

                                              As for the plot, he gets a line around the block for serving Cubanos from his truck smack dab in the middle of Little Havana ????

                                              Sofia has that beyond sexy accent going for her too.

                                            2. Every show time I've checked today has been sold out.

                                              1. I didn't see this posted anywhere but I may have missed it, but El Jefe is doing four nights (tonight's night #2) of their Cubano pop-up at the Grove. 7-11 PM or until sold out. Last night they were sold out by 10 PM according to Roy Choi's Instagram.

                                                1. Not to be mean, but I suggest you enroll in a Film Appreciation course b/c this movie was horrible. That said, this is a food blog so let me keep it focused on that.

                                                  Here's what I don't understand about the film. In order for our "hero" to redeem himself, he doesn't invent anything new -- no original signature dish -- instead, he becomes a sensation by -- wait for her -- making Cuban sandwiches! And he doesn't even bake his own bread!! Or make his own meats (just the first scene to show some cred) -- as he buys them along the way by another vendor.

                                                  Call me crazy (or a screenwriter, one in the same) but how is our "hero" heroic? Or redeemed? Roy Choi INVENTED SOMETHING! Actually two things -- a signature dish and the food truck. So why was our Chef character so great? Oh yes, because Jon Favreau told you all he was great -- but we never really saw it.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Silverlaker

                                                    I thought it was pretty straighforward that hero is heroic because he overcame the inertia of his safe job that was keeping him from both fulfilling his potential and having a family life to reinvent himself and live a more satisfying life. It wasn't an all-timer, but I thought it was a cute movie that would be especially good for a date (especially if you have dinner lined up after!).

                                                    Plus I feel like it's a no-brainer that it would be popular on this board--from the Red Medicine style freakout at the food critic to the nighttime shots of Abbot Kinney, if this movie was made for anybody it was made for the Chowhound LA board.. Probably over half of the posts are dedicated to restaurants that do a few things really really well but didn't invent them. Mariscos Jalisco didn't invent the fried shrimp taco, Krua Thai didn't invent Pad Thai, and Bludso's didn't invent barbecue--they all just make really delicious food like the Jefe character does.

                                                    1. re: Silverlaker

                                                      Just saw this movie and thought it was excellent. One of the fun meta aspects of this movie is how it reflects the dynamics of movie critics - particularly the amateur, online variety - through the lens of food critics.

                                                      On that note, our "hero" in this film is actually not a character in Iron Man 4. Just like a meal at Cooks County is not measured against a medianoche from Portos, Chef is foremost a story about characters and relationships – their relationships to each other and to food. It is not a three-act formula exercise like you find in every two-bit screenwriting course and that the majority of studio pictures slavishly adhere to.

                                                      As much as I expected this movie to include plenty of delicious and well-photographed plates of food – and it does – I did not expect it to deliver such an honest and authentic-feeling story, which is clearly what it set out to do.

                                                      At the risk of straying off-topic on a food board, the film’s use of contemporary technology like YouTube and Twitter also seemed like a very true-to-life reflection of exactly how that plays out here and now and on boards like this every day. Kudos.

                                                      1. re: Silverlaker

                                                        Sorry...you may be right that this is not great filmmaking...but you're way off mark saying it was horrible. It was fun to watch, and most CH's (I think) will find it very enjoyable.

                                                        1. re: Silverlaker

                                                          I don't think Jon Favreau made this film for it be archived. I think he made this film because he has all that Iron Man money...


                                                          1. re: Dommy

                                                            It's great that in 2014, a leading man in a movie can still have > 15% body fat.

                                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                                But not a leading woman. :-(

                                                                (Melissa McCarthy is the exception that proves the rule.)

                                                          2. What restaurant was used to film the early part of the movie (where the critic comes in to eat)?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. Really liked this movie - just very light hearted, good feeling, and makes you want cubanos. You will enjoy it if you're the type who's able to avoid taking movies too seriously. The kid actor was great.

                                                              1. Just saw this good stuff. I hear el floridita still has good cubanos. Anyone been recently? And good job to Jon favreau casting his lady stars. Page out of woody Allen's playbook.

                                                                1 Reply