Salt's Cure, the restaurant/butcher shop from Chris Phelps (formerly of Canelé) and Zak Walters (formerly of Cube) seems to be coming along nicely. They will begin serving food for friends and family this weekend, with all signs indicating that the restaurant will be fully operational in about two weeks -- at which point they will serve lunch during the week, and brunch on weekends. The small retail counter selling fresh cuts of meat will be open as well. Dinner service is likely to begin in around six weeks.
Salt's Cure intends to completely source all of their products, including meat, seafood, beer, and wine, from California, with no shortcuts and no exceptions. Meanwhile, all charcuterie will be produced in-house. But within those tenets, Walters explained, it's going to be a gradually developing restaurant. "It's gonna grow. We're being as frugal as possible. We're being smart about it."
You can expect to see a lot of items like rillettes and country pâté on the menu, but it will not be entirely meat based. "There's going to be a lot of fish too," said Walters, adding, "bottarga's coming." The lunch menu will primarily feature sandwiches, along with some salads and soups. Sandwiches will run everywhere from Jewish deli, to the classic American club. But the BLT, says Walters, will be "the big monster."
Phelps, hands covered in brown wood stain, heavily immersed in the dirty work of getting the restaurant up and running, took a brief moment to talk about the brunch menu. "The main thing will be The 2x2x2x2: Bases Loaded." Like at many diners, you will find two pieces of bacon, two pieces of sausage, two eggs, and a starch. But at Salt's Cure, it will operate as a vehicle for a rotating special, regularly changing out the animal used for each. One week, you will find pig bacon and sausage, the next may be duck, cow, or boar.
Walters nodded over the discussion of it, adding: "Chris [Phelps] is really the guy who's behind this whole thing."
As for dinner, whenever it begins, it will be a somewhat amorphous creation, based almost entirely on what they can get their hands on at a given time. "One night might be a steakhouse theme," said Walters, adding that the tastes of the diners will also help them form the development of the menu. "Like at any new restaurant, you're gonna figure out what the customers like."
Not surprisingly, the retail counter won't be the same from day-to-day either. It won't be a place you'll go to get the specific cut of meat you'll need for an exact recipe, but rather, somewhere to drop in, to see what they have, and to purchase spontaneously -- with no guarantee as to what sorts of animals, steaks, ground meat, or sausages you'll come across. They will, however, do their best to accommodate special orders made in advance.
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Salt's Cure: 7494 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.
Noah Galuten can also be followed on Twitter via @ManBitesWorld.