Riddles usually are reserved for jokers and under-bridge trolls, but through May 9 at LACMA’s Ray’s and Stark Bar, a riddle is the manner by which you can order some of executive chef Viet Pham’s favorite rare animal bits and nose-to-tail specialties.
After 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, a short riddle appears as a nightly special. Your only clue is that Pham is currently in the mood to cook the less-often-consumed parts of animals.
The riddle’s answer tells you the secret dish, which rotates biweekly. It’s sort of like ordering the dealer’s choice at the bar — you never know what you’re going to get.
“I love cooking for adventurous eaters,” says Pham, who started as a sous chef at Ray’s under Kris Morningstar. “It gives me a chance to change people's lives and palates when they are open-minded. They may get to try a dish that they have never experienced.”
Granted, the riddles aren’t exactly stumpers (for the first two weekends of April, the clue was: “‘The cheekiest’ part of the pig,” which led diners to a plate of pork jowls), and you don’t even have to guess the item correctly to order it. But it’s still pretty cool that the futuristic-looking restaurant in the center of the largest art museum in the western United States is serving up L.A.’s own version of mystery meat.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
“I also have a guilty pleasure of changing how people perceive certain food items,” Pham says. “If you do not like Brussels sprouts, I will find a way to make you like it.”
Ray’s and Stark Bar, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile, (323) 857-6180, raysandstarkbar.com