After an aborted attempt to launch an Urban Farmers Dinner pop-up on a downtown L.A. rooftop (landlords and such), Black Cat Bakery chef Nick Coe is launching a more permanent pop-up inside Senor Fish in Little Tokyo. Three nights a week starting (probably) on October 27th, Molonay Tubilderborst (more on the name later) will split Senor Fish's dining room into two sections. In one, you can still order fish tacos or anything else from the regular Senior Fish menu. In the other, a 32-seat space curtained off and decorated with works by local artists, you'll order off of Coe's menu.
The focus is on farm-to-table fare with most of the produce sourced from Shu Takikawa's revered Santa Barbara farm and the meat coming from Lindy & Grundy. The Southern European menu, heavy on influences from Spain, Italy and the south of France, will change completely every week.
"It's all the stuff I feel like doing," Coe says. "I really like to use the cheap cuts of meat like short ribs, lamb neck and pig trotters and figure out ways to braise and roast and grill them slowly. I'm trying to stay very uncomplicated because I'm going to enormous lengths to get really special ingredients. It's the opposite of the whole molecular approach to food."
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All the food will be sold à la carte: $9-13 for appetizers and $16-25 for entrees. If all goes well, the Thursday - Saturday pop-up will remain permanently embedded at Senor Fish. If all goes really well, you may need a reservation (they'll be accepted via email) to get a seat.
You can also find Coe selling his condiments, soups and other prepared foods when the new Altadena Farmers Market launches on Wednesday afternoons, probably at the end of this month. (It won't be at the Zane Gray Estate like the Altadena Urban Farmers Market, which shuttered in May of 2011.) The market will likely showcase several local and backyard growers including Takikawa, who will be selling his produce at an L.A. farmers market for the first time.
Oh, about that name: A recurring character in "By the Way," a long-running British humor column (once edited by P.G. Wodehouse), Molonay Tubilderborst has here been recast as a proto-foodie, a 1930s British gourmand who now serves as mascot for a new generation of diners.