Sunday, August 9, 2009

winnerschnitzel

We all know Stefan should have won Top Chef last season. Perhaps one of the reasons he didn't win was because the Top Chef producers felt his personality was a bit too abrasive and that, like Hung, he wouldn't be able to parlay a win into attracting investors or opening a restaurant.

Well, they were wrong. Stefan was and is abrasive and arrogant, but he's also strangely likeable, particularly as a first runner up. Now, he's opened a restaurant, Stefan's at LA Farm, that looks like it's going to make some good money for him and his investors.

I went there the first night Stefan's served dinner. The restaurant wasn't crowded due to the lack of publicity at that point, but there were like 3 hostesses and two bartenders and tons of waitstaff and cooks. The restaurant is located on a lonely dark stretch of Olympic so people are going to have to make a little trek to eat at Stefan's. It's got a casual dark lounge-ish feel. You can wear jeans and a tee shirt. Please don't wear flip flops though. That's just lame.

LA Farm Ext
I first sat at the bar and had a cucumber martini and a "Like a Big Mac". It's not a slider, so much as a sliderette. Of course the tiny patty is well done, but it comes with gouda cheese, thousand island (yum yum) and it's so darn cute. For women, this should prove irresistible. You'll eat it and it's almost like it never happened.

like a big mac

Every bar item is $3 or $4 which is terrifically appealing. The portions are tiny too so you can have a little bite of this or that which is the new way of eating. We all have food ADD. After two or three bites, we're kind of over you normal sized entree. Sorry.
bar menu
I asked to sit by the fire pit. I quite liked the iron brand that sits in the fire reading "H-O-T". It was rather hot but the blue flames added a nice little feeling to the evening.
LA Farm int
We ordered white anchovies on an herbaceous cracker. $3. Nice and tasty. The beef tartare with poached quail egg and breadstick was alright, as was the lobster bisque with coconut milk and lemon grass. At $3 each, I couldn't regret either one. The most insanely delicious item is the sweetbread schnitzel with potato salad. The potato salad was a finely diced, mustardy sort and it went really well with the golden lovely fried sweetbread. I would order this again for sure. Maybe even two orders just for me.

We had a Finnish Me Off which was a lovely cocktail that reminded me of an adult Hawaiian Punch.
LA Farm barfood
This is a half portion of the pork cheek with caraway sausage, sauerkraut and pretzel dumplings. This was delicious, hearty and aromatic. The vinegarish tartness of the sauerkraut went a long way in cutting the denseness of this wintery/fall dish. I could happily eat this year round. To the left you see the knork, the combo knife/fork, which I found doesn't really cut meat all that well but it's a neat concept for sure.
pork cheeks
On our way out, Stefan was drinking a Finnish Me Off at the bar. We joined him for one drink. He disputed that the Finnish Me Off was anything like a Hawaiian Punch. He was like "no. it's nothing like that. no. Hawaiian Punch is bullshit." He waved his hands dismissively and decisively. He also insisted he would have won Fan Favorite if the voting had taken place two or three weeks later because everyone who talks to him tells him he was their favorite. Well, he was my favorite, but I sort of suspect everyone tells him he was their favorite because he's kind of a lot to deal with in 3-D. He also said given the $500,000 investment that has been pumped in the restaurant he intends to be there every night, so that should be quite a draw for the legion of Top Chef fanatics.
Stefan 2Stefan at Bar
I will definitely be back to eat some of his food. The price is more than right, the ideas are clever, and the flavors are good. All in all, it's a winnerschnitzel.
Stefan's at L.A. Farm on Urbanspoon
Stefan's at LA Farm in Los Angeles

5 comments:

  1. Ah, what a big head. Even several weeks later, Stefan would not have won fan favorite. Everybody loooooves Fabio!

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  2. he is cocky and there is a space in this world for all types of cocks and cockiness. this place sounds like fun though and the price does sound right. nice.

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  3. we go? immediately? i keep you know what in my you know what?
    no promises

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  4. weezer: yeah, fabio kind of swept the nation like n'sync and shit. it was really rather scary but can you resist an eye-talian man who says he's sleeping in a "bunky" bed? nope. a finnish man w/ a vaguely germanic accent can't touch that.

    bags: cockiness is fun to watch on tv. esp. when it's not mean-spirited which i think is stefan's schtick. check it out w/ your homie aka "fatty".

    harbs: oui. i'm there now eating a few "like a big macs" and pretending i'm not eating anything at all. keep the schlong in the thong.

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  5. Amazing review. 1) I had no idea that he was even opening a restaurant and 2) the BREADSTICK component with the Tartar is strange...it doesn't have the ability to add anything to the dish...why, why is it there!?

    Sounds like if he opened a hole in the wall lunch spot that only serves pork check with saurkraut and dumplings that he'd be in making a lunch gold mine.

    Until then...you should take a group of "us" there. Oh, yes, I'd love to include me in it! Great post!!

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