Derrick de Jesus, chef de cuisine at Ari Taymor's Alma, has clocked out of the Downtown restaurant as of last October to focus on his craft. Starting January 21, de Jesus will take over the kitchen every other Monday night at the renovated City Sip wine bar in Echo Park with a concept dubbed MSG. De Jesus describes his menu as "modern American fare using an Asian palette" and says that "the goal for me personally is to be able to combine techniques I've learned in fine dining with the flavors I grew up with in the 626, it's definately not Asian cuisine but there will be some hints of it in flavors, ingredients or even an overall sensibility." Though his food will be more formal, expect a '90s rap soundtrack of Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Biggie Smalls.
Prior to Alma, de Jesus has cooked in two Michelin starred kitchens and spent six months at Pujol in Mexico City, considered one of the world's 50 best restaurants by S.Pellegrino.
Sample dishes, priced at $8 to $10 each, include carrots, berbere, whipped tofu; beets, hibiscus, hoisin, buttermilk; and jidori chicken, onsen egg, heirloom rice, alliums. For a resy email firstname.lastname@example.org.