Ilan Hall had a good run inside the belly of the Alexandria Hotel in Downtown's Historic Core, but The Gorbals will be moving locations come December 14. Tucked into the hotel, Hall recently opened a small bar that spilled out onto 5th Street, but his tenure inside the historic building will soon be over. The bi-coastal chef, who recently opened a new The Gorbals in Brooklyn, is affirming to Eater that he's close to finding a new location within Downtown L.A., though it comes with one major shocker.
The new menu will be almost 80% vegan, focused on vegetables and mushrooms instead of the meat-heavy menu the Season 2 Top Chef winner's been cooking since the early days of The Gorbals. Classic dishes Hall developed here include bacon-wrapped matzoh balls and the meat-laden banh mi poutine, as well as lamb with oatmeal risotto. When asked why he was leaving, the impetus centered mostly around the size and scope of the current Gorbals - large, unwieldly, and cave-like versus the airy, bright space he has in Brooklyn. So in turn, he's looking for something with a bit more natural light in the next location.
In addition, the new menu will be something that will be more manageable for the always-traveling chef, who's admitted that having two places is very difficult to maintain. Why is it that every chef finds it suddenly "cool" to cook mostly vegetables (a la Roy Choi or Phillip Frankland Lee)?