People don't want to throw away food. It just happens, especially combined with the good fortune that our local climate provides when it comes to produce. Forage, a brand new restaurant in the former Town & Country space on Sunset near Hyperion, gives folks with excess fruits and veggies a place to share, and then see their homegrown harvest turned into something they'll be proud of. It's the next logical, professionalized step in a certain pro-food, anti-waste movement that's been gaining ground around Los Angeles.

Chef Jason Kim honed his technique at L.A.'s famed L'Orangerie, and then gained a true appreciation of seasonal cooking at Lucques, where Suzanne Goin would trust him to pick out the best of the farmers' markets. In his own venture, Kim is putting faith in his customers to get involved and collaborate at a level not typical of a neighborhood restaurant, with a forage program that creatively uses technology and social networking to find what's out there. Or you can just give them a call, too.

Forage manifesto.; Credit: Jessica Ritz

Forage manifesto.; Credit: Jessica Ritz

“The response has been really great. The phone hasn't stopped ringing,” Kim says with a mixture of excitement and exhaustion. Most offers have been heavy on citrus, given the time of year, especially lemons and grapefruit (beets will definitely be on the menu while citrus fruits hang around). And there are pleasant surprises and challenges, such as the Burbank woman who implored him to take a sapote crop off her hands.

Forage's fairly priced menu of seasonal foods showcases kitchen know-how with a down-to-earth vibe that's fitting of the clean, minimalist space. Kim's background in classical French and Goin-inspired Mediterranean/French/California cuisine is nicely complimented by the repertoires of two other chefs–one who spent time in Gino Angelini's kitchen, and a former Londoner pastry chef who brings some appealing British touches to the dessert menu. Plus, there's Blue Bottle coffee via San Francisco. Casual cafe vibe, high quality cooking, progressive foodie politics, a let's-all-pitch-in community mindedness: yup, sounds like the dream project of a chef/entrepreneur who knows his Silver Lake neighborhood.

As expected, the menu changes and evolves constantly, so check the website and Twitter for updates. And call ahead to make sure Forage is open for service during these early days.

Forage: 3823 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 663-6885.

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