For a man whose walk-in fridge broke down a few days prior, Chef Ryan Turner knows how to keep his cool at West 4th and Jane.
“I had some fun things for you all to try from the new spring menu,” he wistfully explains, as if the mini pulled pork sandwiches on brioche, the spoons of mac and cheese, and the lavish eden-like spread of charcuterie aren’t impressive enough.
A few nights ago, the self-proclaimed “bar of the people,” debuted a new spring menu under the new chef, Portland transplant (by way of several kitchens in Portland, SF, and Marina Del Rey) Ryan Turner.
As luck would grant it, I caught up with Turner just as he was checking in on his spread of menu and beer samplings for a quick round of eight questions about food, life outside the kitchen, and a few memories he’ll never forget.
Your spring menu looks fantastic. Is there anything you wish you had on it? Bone marrow. Period.
What’s the last thing you ate today? Hmm, well, the spaetzle for the Mac and Cheese.
What’s spaetzle? Spaetzle is pasta that’s made from dough that’s been pushed through a sieve. We make ours in-house.
You mentioned your walk-in broke down a few days ago. Is that the biggest faux pas you’ve ever had in a kitchen? No – ha, once someone spilled an entire five-gallon bucket of pickles all over the floor, which made everything smell awful.
List three things always in your fridge? Milk. Whiskey. Leftovers.
Embarrassing indulgence? It would have to be Kraft Macaroni and Cheese – the one from the blue box. That, or Stove Top Stuffing (insert joint “mmmm” and nod of agreement).
You’ve got a birthday coming up. Plans? How’d you know that? (I do my homework) Well, I’ve got a friend coming in to town. Probably relax. Take a day off. Stay out of the kitchen.
Tell me about your most memorable kitchen moment. When I was a dishwasher at Dan & Louis Oyster Bar in Portland, and I got asked to work the line.
What: Local upscale watering hole with beer, wine, daily tastings and specials.
Who: If you like to drink and/or sample beer, play connect four, and eat items like pork belly poutine and candied yam panna cotta.
Need to Know: When the kitchen closes, late night snacks like olives, cracker jacks and spiced nuts are available so you can keep playing until closing time.
Address: 1432A 4th Street, Santa Monica.