The surrealist dishes of Jordan Kahn’s Vespertine in Los Angeles

seeing is believing

Last year, chef Jordan Kahn opened his 16-seat breakfast and lunch restaurant, Destroyer in Los Angeles — and it became an Instagram hit. People flocked to his Los Angeles spot — not just to eat inventive dishes like chicken confit with Yukon gold potato, aged cheese, yuzu and hazelnut, but to also snap pictures of his beautiful plates. Yet photos of food from his new restaurant have been much harder to come by — until now.

At his avant garde dining experience Vespertine, Kahn asks patrons to put their phones away in order to immerse themselves in the dining experience that borders on performance art. However, for those who haven’t been able to get a seat, the restaurant has shared images of food served on the multicourse tasting menu, and they really defy description.

Before you check out the pictures below, it helps to have a little context about how Kahn is going for a menu unlike any other. The 34-year-old chef cut his teeth in some of America’s best kitchens, including Thomas Keller’s Per Se and Grant Achatz’s Alinea. He gained acclaim around L.A. with the experimental, Vietnamese-influenced restaurant Red Medicine in Beverly Hills until it shuttered in 2014.

While Kahn has always been wildly inventive, he’s taking it to a completely new level with Vespertine – described as “a gastronomical experiment seeking to disrupt the course of the modern restaurant. It is a place of cognitive dissonance that defies categorization, exploring a dimension of cuisine that is neither rooted in tradition nor culture — it is from a time that is yet to be, and a place that does not exist. It is a spirit that exists between worlds. A place of shadows and whispers.”

It does sound pretentious, but the proof is in the pudding. And on that front, it delivers. The experience, however, goes beyond the food. Kahn has committed to having a more immersive sensory experience. For instance, when patrons enter, they’ll hear an original soundtrack composed for the restaurant by Austin band This Will Destroy You. And even the building that houses the restaurant has a backstory – “a machine artifact from an extraterrestrial planet that was left here like a billion years ago by a species that were moon worshippers." Erm… sure. When do we start eating?

Vespertine

 

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Published October 20, 2017
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