THE BEST TURKEY BURGER EVER. YES, EVER!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tag line that I posted on my Facebook photo read “The best turkey burger ever.  YES, EVER!”

That description was no exaggeration.  Said the server, “It is the most amazing blend of dark meat, white meat, and skin.”  Hold up…did he say SKIN?  Well,  I didn’t actually notice the addition of skin, but there was clearly something unusual going on here.  Turkey burgers do not often give me goose bumps of deliciousness, and I was in full goose bump mode.  Needless to say, there were no left overs.

The back story to the best turkey burger ever, in brief:

DCPR was flattered and honored to be contacted by Bill Chait to work with his group of talented restaurant entrepreneurs on a very specific project of national press placements.  It was an opportunity that rarely arrives for a small, independent public relations firm.  We were present for the launch of Chef John Sedlar’s thirtieth anniversary of the groundbreaking Saint Estephe.  We celebrated the inclusion of Sotto and Playa in Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in America.  We congratulated Chef Ricardo Zarate, as he was named to Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs in America.  We were thrilled to learn that Chef John Sedlar was named (the first ever Hispanic) Esquire Chef of the Year.   And, we mourned the passing of Chef Amy Pressman, the chef/partner of Chait and Nancy Silverton in the highly anticipated Short Order and Short Cake Bakery at the historic Farmer’s Market at The Grove.

There are three threads that link these brilliant restaurateurs:  Owner/Connector/Financier Bill Chait, Bartender/Mixologist Julian Cox, and social media/marketing expert Shawna Dawson.  Together, these three professionals link an eclectic group of talented chefs and front of house restaurant professionals into what has become the most acclaimed and respected restaurant groups in Los Angeles.  Including restaurants Rivera, Playa, Sotto, Picca Peru, the recently opened Short Order, and the soon to arrive Short Cake, one might argue this one of the most successful and critically acclaimed restaurant groups in the United States.  Certainly, Los Angeles has never before enjoyed such an amazing group of talented individuals, each carefully curated and assembled into one behemoth of dining excellence!

Sadly, Chef Amy Pressman passed away mere weeks before the opening of Short Order and Short Cake Bakery.  When I first arrived, I smiled to see that the burger named in her honor was the turkey burger, as the TB is usually my burger of choice.  I was even more thrilled to discover that it was, quite honestly, the best damn turkey burger I have ever enjoyed in my entire life.  Paired with a large order of Spud Potatoes, it was the perfect afternoon lunch, as well as one of my favorite new spots for inexpensive, delicious dining in Los Angeles!  And, once again, Short Order continues the lineage of hospitality excellence by Mr. Bill Chait & Co – the 3000 years of Latin cuisine at John Sedlar’s acclaimed Rivera, the brilliantly controversial Reflexiones Series at Playa, the uniquely extraordinary Southern Italian offerings of Chefs Pollack and Samson at Sotto…  and, of course, the best turkey burger that I’ve ever eaten at Short Order.  And all them complimented by the ever-evolving, superior bar programs of Julian Cox.  It is, quite simply, extraordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, great restaurants do not happen by accident.  There are long, difficult hours of planning, editing and perfecting.  The stress level is high, the hours long, and the rewards often low.  And yet,  Bill Chait continues on the road to success, culling together an impressively brilliant team of food professionals.    It is thanks to the talents of these professionals that Los Angeles now enjoys the enviable title of one of the world’s greatest restaurant destination cities.  Lucky us!

Our professional commitment with Mr. Chait and his group recently concluded.  It is most extraordinary to observe that hard work, honesty, and ethical standards do still count in this world.  It does still matter how people are treated, employees and guests.   It does still matter that the food is excellent.  And delicious. It does still matter that the chef is in the kitchen cooking, rather than hocking reality shows.  And, happily, there are still dedicated professionals that continue to strive every single day to make that “restaurant magic” happen.  It is our pleasure and our honor to bring the news of their life’s work to you.  Lucky us, indeed.

The DCPR dine out series.

Episode Two.

Filed under: DCPR dine out series — admin

A PERFECT AFTERNOON IN BERKELEY

I suffer from a freakishly excellent memory for great meals.  I can recall meals from decades ago, the people that shared my table, and the surroundings that helped to make the evening extraordinary.  When I lived in San Francisco, I would regularly dine alone in extravagant dining rooms, creating an extensive journal of my dining on the front covers of books that I brought along.  It was well before the advent of blogging, and I have a huge library of these former meals.  On more than one occasion, I was mistaken for The San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic, as the chefs and staff could clearly see me taking notes throughout my dinner.   The best meals, however, have always been shared with family and friends, filled with equal amounts of chef talent, professional service, and good company.

Each week, we will begin offering up reflections on just such meals from the previous week.  It might be in the dining room of one of our own clients, perhaps an out of town adventure, or maybe even a meal enjoyed in the home of a friend.   We have but one rule here: ACKNOWLEDGE GREAT DINING!  There is no catty criticism, no snarky blogger telling a professional chef or barman how to do his job.  Rather, we lift up these professionals, and offer up our experiences with them as a small way of thanking them.  This is, after all, why we do what we do.  And why we love it.

First up, Chez Panisse Cafe in Berkeley, California.  We traveled to San Francisco last week for a cookbook tour.  And, of course,  we managed to eat.   We ate very, very well, indeed.  A late dinner the night of our arrival at Zuni Cafe was delicious.  The following day found us astonished by lunch at Pizzeria Delfina and an exquisite dinner at Spruce in Pacific Heights.  As we left to drive back to Los Angeles, our final meal together was shared at Chez Panisse Cafe over lunch.   And what a lunch it was!

We noticed something very interesting during the course of this lunch – Silence swept over our table as each course was delivered.  First, we would inspect, smell, and dissect the dish.  But soon after, we were both just so astonished at how wonderful every single dish that arrived tasted, we were repeatedly rendered speechless.  Of course, you can expect that I will ruin a quiet moment in seconds with moans and sighs with each bite.  So here is our lunch, in photos and few words, just as we enjoyed it at the restaurant.

Hog Island Clams cook in the wood oven with sherry, saffron, and romesco sauce

Roasted Duck from Salmon Creek Ranch with hazelnuts and frisee salad

Cannard Farm cardoons, potatoes, and egg

House-made rigatoni with tuna confit, tomatoes, black olives, capers, and hot pepper

Riverdog Farm chicken breast wrapped in pancetta with autumn squash puree and kale

Interestingly, I noticed after our meal that an LA food blogger had commented on my check in at Chez Panisse, offering “I still remember a cauliflower soup that I had at lunch fifteen years ago…incredible!”  I suspect I’ll still be talking about this one in fifteen years, too.

Thanks, Alice!

Chez Panisse, Berkeley California

The DCPR dine out series.

Episode One.

Filed under: DCPR dine out series — admin