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There’s No Such Thing as “Casual Dining” for Jordan Kahn

The New York Times checks in

Jordan Kahn
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

What is Jordan Kahn up to today, and how far along is his new high-end dining experience Vespertine? Let’s take a look. This is KahnWatch.

Recently, the New York Times took up the issue of one Jordan Kahn, using his restaurant Destroyer to discuss the presumably failing nature of traditional fine dining. Except, is fine dining disappearing? Not if you ask Kahn himself, who is intent on reinventing the format with his upcoming restaurant Vespertine.

In the piece, the NY Times claims that Destroyer is “disrupting a golden rule” by offering sub-$20 food that looks and tastes like something you could only get from a World’s 50 Best restaurant. Of course, Kahn’s Vespertine won’t be quite as much an everyday restaurant, but the point stands.

And then there is this:

Influenced by Copenhagen’s beloved Atelier September and the Japanese attitude that there is no such thing as casual dining, Kahn and his staff apply the same seriousness to toast and jam as they do to a dish of sunchoke, walnut and egg yolk. “It’s hard for me to make a sloppy sandwich,” Kahn says.

So there you have it. Don’t expect hard-to-eat sandwiches from Jordan Kahn any time soon; he’s not casual like that.

If all goes well, Vespertine should open this spring.