Los Angeles has never fully embraced Scandinavian food, but maybe now, in this post-Noma world, the time is right.
Christer Larsson, whose résumé includes a stint as executive chef at New York City's celebrated Aquavit, took a long break from kitchen work while working as a consultant to a hotel group. But he's back behind the stove — now joined by his son, Ian — at the new ALTA Nordic Kitchen.
L.A. has a small number of Scandinavian restaurants scattered about, such as Hygge Bakery, Olson's (which is also a gourmet shop) and Gravlax, which also serves Turkish food. Scandia, the legendary Scandinavian-French restaurant, closed in 1989. There was briefly another Scandinavian restaurant, perhaps in Santa Monica, in the mid-aughts — I believe it was well-regarded but I can't remember the name, and it didn't last long.
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But Scandinavian culture (and that Danish hygge lifestyle) is having a moment, so now may be the perfect time to build a business on shrimp, smoked salmon, meatballs and chocolate cake. And herring, potatoes and apple cake. ...Yes, the timing and the menu seem right.
7274 Melrose Ave., Fairfax; (323) 746-5221, altanordickitchen.com.