One of the highlights of this year's Eastside Food Festival (on Oct. 2) will be a live recording of Super Amazing Restaurant Show, a new podcast hosted by L.A. restaurateurs Alvin Cailan of Unit 120/Eggslut and Arjun and Nakul Mahendro of Badmaash. These guys are embarking on quite an experiment: no-holds-barred discussions of the hospitality industry and the people in it. They'll even say the not-so-complimentary things! We talked to them briefly about the show and the festival.
What are you guys doing differently from other food podcasts?
Nakul: All of the media and “go-to” outlets for anything food/restaurants/chefs … are all about food, about restaurants, about chefs… we’re not about anything. We are food-restaurants-chefs … so we’re literally just having a convo about what’s on our mind, happening in our world, from our perspective.
Alvin, do you ever sleep?
Alvin: Do I sleep? Hahaha, never.
Nakul: Alvin probably sleeps as much as us all — hardly. Our bodies are running on passion, ambition and Fernet and Coke.
Will Eastside Food Festival be your first live show?
Nakul: Yes, this will be the first time we’ve ever recorded in the open, with the public allowed to listen to us. I hope we can keep our composure – lol.
Do you think you'll be able to use this medium to influence your colleagues? Like the stuff about not listing the farms and ranches on your menus …
Nakul: I think we already have. I think we’re all really strong leaders in our businesses. And that’s not our job that we can turn on and off, it's who we are. So the three of us have always been the guys in the group to push our friends to be better, to think bigger and to do more.
Have you had any pushback for naming names?
Nakul: Some. We mentioned that Baroo has “fermenty things” and I guess some people didn’t like that. We had some people say they were let down by our LA Food and Wine episode, but if they wanted to hear about LAFW they could have gone to the billion publications that covered it, including the super-amazing LA Weekly. [Ed. note: Nice.] We spoke to LAFW from our perspective and experiences.
What are your goals for the podcast?
Nakul: We want Drake to be a guest on our show. Lol. But seriously, we started doing this for ourselves. It's therapeutic. But it's not until we got some response after the first episode went live that we realized we might have something here. I guess our goals would be to help build and shape the restaurant landscape in L.A. If we can inspire young people in restaurants to really be all they can be, I think we would have done something amazing that we could be proud of. I mean, we’re still bashfully flattered that people are listening.