Strange things have been afoot on the rooftop at John Sedlar's Playa. For the past couple of months, the restaurant has been installing and planting a rather large rooftop garden (you may have noticed a crane doing some heavy lifting along Beverly Boulevard back in March) meant to provide Sedlar's kitchen and bar with a fresh variety of hard-to-find ingredients. The actual garden is laid out vertically. As Sedlar explains, "We considered several different systems, including raised container beds and a greenhouse, before finally settling on one we decided would be best: an aeroponic technology based on a system of 35 towers we have installed on our roof, each with 28 pots per 5-foot tower."
Word has arrived that the first round of crops from what's been dubbed the cielo verde (green sky) is ripe and ready to make its debut.
On June 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Playa will host a garden grand opening party complete with bites by Sedlar and summer cocktails by Julian Cox -- both featuring the new rooftop-to-table produce. [We just received word that this party is not open to the public. 12:07 p.m.
If you're curious what Sedlar is actually growing up there (that we know of), he shared with us a list of his personal produce, which includes rare items like cactus fruits, Incan plums, Black Kabouli garbanzos, and a whole spectrum of chile varieties with names like Black Cobra and Thai Dragon. Here's the full list for those home gardeners struck with green thumb envy.
Cielo Verde Rooftop Garden:
Bob Marley mint (Jamaican spearmint)
Black Tuscan kale
Bright Light Swiss chard
Red Summer Crisp lettuce
Red romaine lettuce
Chiles (as available):
Bhut Jolokia (Indian Ghost Pepper)
Caribbean Red Sevina
Tomatoes (as available):
Carbon (Russian Black)
Huazontle (Aztec spinach)
Beans and grains include:
Black Kabouli garbanzos
Bush Bean trio
Incan lima beans
Peaches and Cream corn
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