Monday, May 3, 2010
Ah, Saturday night. I attended a friend's birthday held at The Gorbals, a restaurant-bar in downtown LA run by Bravo's Top Chef Season 2 winner Ilan Hall. You might have heard about Hall's somewhat controversial menu item: bacon-wrapped matzah balls. His father is from Scotland, his mother is from Jerusalem. Go figure! As I don't eat bacon, I didn't order these daring matzah balls and can't testify to their brilliance or ridiculousness. But! I did try the latkes with applesauce and honey and wow they are amazing! I think I might have to drizzle some honey on applesauce every time I eat it from now on!
Alexandria Hotel of 1906 so be sure to get intentionally lost on your way in or out so you can see some of the neat architecture and design touches (though with plenty of a feeling of abandonment from this no-longer-functioning hotel). The interior of the restaurant includes an open kitchen so you can watch the chef do his thing, and there's a long communal table in the middle of the place for you to sit at unless you opt for a more private dining experience at a table for just your group. The waitress we had was spectacular, super attentive and kind, always offering us water, and making sure we were happy. Hall looked like he was having a great time balancing cooking with stepping out of the kitchen and mingling with the party folk. He's a very friendly guy.
And speaking of friendly, Hall is friends with my friend, the birthday boy. So naturally, what is a chef to do when his friend hosts his birthday party at his pal's restaurant? Hall made a giant castle-shaped bundt cake, deep fried it, drenched it in some sort of vanilla glaze, sprinkled powdered sugar on top, and then finished it off with sparkler candles. Deep frying the entire cake basically resulted in a giant donut. And it was delicious!
To top off an already fun evening, I said a little hello to some comedians who came out for my friend's party, sending my celeb interaction quota for the day off the charts. You see, my friend is in the comedy business. In fact, I was told there were plenty more comedians in the room, but unless they're from Zoolander or they're about to host the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, they just look like the next guy to me.
I highly recommend you grab a drink and order some small plates at The Gorbals. And say hello to Ilan Hall. If you two hit things off and become fast friends, maybe he'll make you a giant castle birthday cake donut thingy, too!
The Making of the Giant Castle Birthday Cake Donut Thingy in Pictures:
501 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90013