Whoa, this is a biggie. So, Umami mastermind Adam Fleischman clearly knows what he is doing considering he opened one burger spot in February of 2009 on La Brea and now, just over a year later, has an additional three locations (Hollywood, Los Feliz, Santa Monica) plus a truck. Well, he's most definitely not done yet. So, before even getting into his next project, as you can see above Hokusai has shuttered after three years of business, frankly not a surprise. Signage on the door reads, "Temporarily closed for remodeling," however Hokusai is not remodeling, rather Adam has claimed 8400 Wilshire and will reopen the space as a high end Vietnamese restaurant called Red Medicine. You heard it here first, Red Medicine is the name, Slanted Door (SF) meets Momofuku (NYC) is the game. So! Here's the deal. Adam has teamed up with former pastry chef of XIV and StarChefs Rising Star winner Jordan Kahn, but what's so interesting here is that this is the first non-pastry chef title Jordan has claimed in LA. Around these here parts he is known as an exceptionally talented pastry chef, but at Red Medicine he gives savory a whirl.
Anyway, although Adam is involved in this project, Red Medicine is a totally chef-driven restaurant, so it's really all about Jordan's experimental French Vietnamese fusion. For example, his bahn mi is completely made from scratch- he baked his own bread and makes his own pates.
The menu is broken down into different categories: "Hands," "Cold," "Protein," "Large Format," and "Veg." Those categories are pretty self explanatory and plates are pretty much all meant to be shared family-style except for the "Large Format" dishes which are larger portions for about eight or so people. An example of such a dish is Slow Roasted Pork Butt with grilled rice cakes, pickles, herbs, chili paste, nuoc cham, and bibb lettuce. Other smaller plates include: Crispy Spring Roll with smoked bacon, kabocha squash, sweet soy, Szechuan pepper; Caramelized Chicken Dumplings with lemongrass, scallion, bibb lettuce; Charred Chinese Eggplant with lime, palm sugar, mint, sesame; Pan-Roasted Diver Sea Scallops with young ginger, pomelo, radish, honshimeji; and Jidori Chicken braised in vietnamese caramel, lemongrass, galangal, cinnamon. Also note, all dishes are priced under $20 except those "Large Format" portions.
So, let's switch gears for a sec and talk about beverages. Alcohol. Noah Ellis, who has maintained the title as head mixologist for all 17 Michael Mina restaurants, steps up to the plate here as co-owner and GM. His cocktail creations will actually be classic French-inspired with six to ten choices using seasonal ingredients. All on the lighter side, nothing to acidic that could overpower the food. Adam will select the wines, whites from Germany and Austria plus some sparkling and rose options from elsewhere. Definitely a lot of fun libations, but on the non-alcoholic end, also a slew of creative concoctions: kaffir lime-aide, dry kumquat soda, sparkling elderflower, sparkling lemongrass, 5-spice (house made) horchata, thai red bull, and dry lemongrass soda. Also, Intelligentsia coffee, but not straight up coffee. Here one will find iced green tea, iced Hong Kong milk tea, and iced Vietnamese coffee brewed with Intelligentsia beans.
Yes, Jordan will also handle dessert duty, think jasmine ice cream, chocolate financier, cinnamon, puffed rice clusters; and kaffir lime curd, cucumber ice cream, jasmine rice, shiso.
As for design, Charisse Cardenas, a movie set designer, is working with the crew to create a minimalist design aesthetic in the vein of Animal and Gjelina. First up, the outside of the building will be painted grey. Other fun facts: Red Medicine offers valet parking, has a full liquor license, and the restaurant will actually be open until 2AM. Rather, the bar will serve until 2AM and guests will have the option to order food as late from a separate bar menu. On a daily basis Red Medicine will be open for both lunch and dinner. When can you expect to take a bite out of the aforementioned goodness? Right now Adam is looking at July 10, which is actually pretty soon. And, once again, this is not the last spot Adam plans to open. Notice, no pho on the menu? There just might be a separate noodle bar down the road...