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Eater: Best of LA Featured 13 Rock Star Chefs at Code Conference Last Night

No surprise: Howlin’ Ray’s was the longest line

LA chefs at Eater: Best of LA at Code Conference
Matthew Kang

Last night at Recode’s Code Conference, held annually at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, thirteen LA chefs cooked up a storm for Eater: The Best of LA for the hundreds of attendees, with everything from the incredibly spicy Howlin’s Ray’s hot chicken to Broken Spanish’s addictive aguachile tostadas.

71Above’s delightful strawberry patch, made with chocolate dirt and basil leaves, was served filled with foie gras mousse and macerated strawberries. Michael Fiorelli of Love & Salt grilled some lamb tongue paninis while David LeFevre was keen to prepare each lamb belly from M.B. Post to order, a tough feat in this kind of environment.

Meanwhile, Shirley Chung of Top Chef fame hinted at her new restaurant slated for Downtown LA’s Arts District, a big move for the formerly Orange County-based chef. Eater pressed for more details on Chung’s upcoming restaurant, but she stayed mum. Nyesha Arrington, Eater LA’s 2015 Chef of the Year, also declined to comment on her forthcoming restaurant despite claims in the conference’s guidebook that she had one in the works.

Miles Thompson’s booth was the first to run out of a refreshing handheld bite of thinly shaved roast pork with light greens while Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee of Scratch Bar served up their signature green mussel with sake, avocado, and uni, which they instructed to be eaten in three distinct steps. Holly Jivin represented The Bazaar with a salmon roe-topped nori wafer while Andrew Vaughan of mar’sel plated up a variety of dishes straight from Terranea’s own restaurant.

Johnny Ray Zone and Amanda Chapman brought in Howlin’ Ray’s, one of the few times they’ve gone on the road since ditching the food truck and opening one of LA’s most popular restaurants, period. The Nashville-style hot chicken spot gave away chicken wings in any level of spice, and only a few brave souls tried the “howlin’” level of spice, including The Verge’s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel and Eater editor-at-large Helen Rosner.

Finally, James Beard award-winner Jessica Largey (Manresa) served up an abalone avocado toast as a preview of Simone, her restaurant that should open by September in the Arts District. Tonight, a cavalcade of LA restaurants and chefs will be serving at Night Market, a street food setup that’s a first for Code Conference.

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