If you've been following the vicissitudes of The Spice Table, Bryant Ng's downtown restaurant, since its opening in the spring of 2011, you'll know a few important things. Here's the catalog. Bryant and Kim Ng have been serving a glorious mash-up of the cuisines of their respective home cultures, Singapore and Vietnam, which has included perhaps the best pig tail ever. For which food Ng won a 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chef award. And, thanks to the MTA, the restaurant has been under a kind of death watch pretty much since it opened, as the city planners have long decided that the gorgeous brick building should be demolished and replaced by a shiny new train station. Hence the above picture.
Ng now reports that the train whistles have finally blown, and thus the Spice Table will be serving its last supper (his words) on the final day of this year, Dec. 31, 2013. Go book a table, or a few of them, as there's no telling exactly when Ng will be cooking again. The chef has been looking for a new place to put his much-loved (by everybody, it seems, but the Metro Transportation Authority) restaurant, as he's intent on reopening it downtown. For which we are very, very grateful.
In related news, Ng and his wife will be opening another restaurant sometime next year, although not the Spice Table, and not downtown. The Ngs and Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb are partnering on a Santa Monica restaurant, so at the very least we can find still Ng's food, albeit on the Westside. Summer of 2014, the city notwithstanding.
“Regarding the closing of the Spice Table,” Ng said in an email, “I've already gone through the gamut of emotions: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.”
As have we all. The last dinner service, on New Year's Eve, will thus not be your average dinner but “a send-off party of all you can drink and eat.” Because before the train hits, one should have a real party.
This final dinner will run from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m., and costs $75 per person. Ng suggests you reserve early, as, well, it's a party kind of night anyway.
For updates, Ng suggests that you follow him on Instagram for pictures of “our progress, food, and the occasional picture of my dog Theodore Roosevelt (aka “Teddy”). Come by and have some Spice Table food before the train runs us over.” Exactly.
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