Two former white-tablecloth chefs, Karen Yoo (Campanile, Sona, Restaurant Daniel) and her husband Nathan McCall (Café Pinot, Sona, Restaurant Daniel) will soon be opening not a restaurant, but something that's maybe even better: a small, intensive meat and fish shop catering both to the home cook and fellow chefs like themselves, who want high quality products when they're on their days off.
McCall's Meat and Fish Company, which is scheduled to open mid-January in Los Feliz, will be as straightforward as its name, selling housemade sausages, certified Angus beef, sushi-grade fish from the downtown L.A. fish markets, and dry-aged meat from Newport Meat Co. in Irvine. Yoo and McCall had initially wanted to set up their own dry-aging room, but there wasn't enough space in the roughly 700 square foot Hillhurst Avenue location. “There are dry-aging rooms that are 700 square feet,” pointed out McCall.
The couple, who met while they were working at Sona, had wanted to open a restaurant initially (and still may), but felt like this was a business better suited to these economic times. This is true not only for these young first-time business owners, but possibly for the rest of us, as more and more people are cooking at home. McCall says he wanted a shop that would have cuts of meat and fish of the kind of quality he is used to working with in professional kitchens. “As a chef when you have your day off, it can be really difficult. You don't have David Myers' kitchen at your disposal.”
McCall and Yoo won't be selling prepared foods in the store (“we can't cook anything; it's too small”), but will have a selection of items like olive oil, vinegar and piquillo peppers (McCall also cooked at the Michelin-starred restaurant Arzak in Spain), and have plans to offer high quality chocolate (Yoo is a pastry chef). In addition to dry-aged rib eye and short loin, which McCall will cut to order, they'll have pork belly and roasts seasoned and tied, so that you can swing by and pick something up on the way home. McCall will not only cut meats to your specification, but have them aged to your liking as well. At the beginning, the meat will be aged 21 days, but McCall says that they might change that, and certainly can have the meat aged longer upon request.
“Being a chef, the number one thing is quality,” says McCall. It doesn't hurt that the couple is seriously multi-talented. They're designing the interior of the shop themselves and Yoo, who has a degree in graphic design from UCLA in addition to a Cordon Bleu degree like her husband, designed the website. Sometimes 700 square feet is all you need.
McCall's Meats and Fish Company: 2117 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles.