Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Forage is Silver Lake's Newest Gem

Jason Kim knows good produce. Ten years into his culinary career, following stints at the Dining Room at Ritz Carlton in San Francisco and L.A.’s L’Orangerie and Lucques, he’s taken the knowledge he gained about farmer’s markets, seasonal produce and sustainability, a power-to-the-people attitude and his uncanny ability to roll with the punches packed in a constantly morphing menu and birthed Forage. Sunny and sleek, in a prime Silver Lake location (Kim took over the space previously occupied by craptastic Town and Country), Eastsiders are already twitterpated over the newly opened restaurant’s farm-to-table approach.

“My goal is to provide food like Lucques, Spago, Providence,” Kim, a sweetly reticent fellow, begins. “All that great produce, you can only get at these nice restaurants and you pay $50-$100 a meal. The state of organic, sustainable food is only for the elite still. I wanted to bridge that gap.”

With that in mid, instead of paying $100 to feast at Forage, guest checks are usually closer to $10 or $15 dollars. “You can and you should be eating like this every day,” Kim pronounces.

Insisting on serving only the freshest possible produce means the menu changes depending on what’s available to the kitchen staff, much of it gathered from local providers, some of whom happen to be neighbors with a fruit tree who stop by on Sunday from 3-5pm, the foraging hours.

“Our menu has changed non-stop,” Kim says proudly. “I didn’t expect it to change this much but since I started this foraging program where people are bringing me stuff, I have no choice. It’s been really great. We just get inspired on the spot and that night we’ll make a new dish.” A month and a half after opening, Kim says, “I’ve changed my soup ten times already.”

Not one to play favorites with produce, Kim admits he has particular affection for garlic and spring onions, but says there’s one ingredient he’d love to see a forager bring in and is quick to put out the APB.

“Ramps!” he crows. “If anybody has ramps, let me know. If you have them, I’ll use them as the entrĂ©e!”

3823 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Lunch- Tuesday-Sunday: 11am-3pm
Dinner- Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-9pm
Forage- Sunday: 3-5pm

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