For all you burgeoning molecular gastronomists, closet (or actual) pastry chefs and secret Top Chef addicts, a Pacojet can be a must-have kitchen accouterment. The Swiss-made gadget purees mixtures in their frozen states, producing ice creams and sorbets with a particularly fine consistency. Conny Andersson of the now-shuttered AK Restaurant and Bar in Venice must have had mixed feelings about them, because he left this one in the kitchen when he closed his restaurant. When Casey Lane of The Tasting Kitchen took over the space on July 1st (“we opened that night and ran 8 menus, now here we are 2 1/2 months later”) he inherited the Pacojet along with the rest of Andersson's kitchen equipment. Lane is not big on Pacojets. “Anybody wants a Pacojet for an incredibly low price, they can have it.”
Lane, who came down from Portland to open The Tasting Kitchen, took over the AK space without waiting for a remodel. The restaurant will close down for a redesign in about two months and reopen quickly (“I'm hoping to get it done in about a week”), hopefully before the holiday season, with a new name but the same staff and ownership and variable menu that it currently has. Call Lane's menu whatever you want, organic, hand-crafted, whatever, just please not rustic. “In Portland, we're like, did you say 'rustic' again? Can you get past this?”
As for what else Lane and his crew found in the kitchen when they moved into the space, “There were a lot of chemicals, but no mortar and pestle. We took pictures before we threw them in the trash.” We should emphasize that Lane is talking about culinary chemicals, not any other sort.
Tasting Kitchen: 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 392-6644.