Each week in our Off Duty series, we'll talk to some of our favorite chefs and industry folk around the country to find out their secret late-night spots where they like to grab a bite and a pint when their kitchens are finally closed. Next up: Former PAPER Beautiful Person Jordan Kahn and Noah Ellis, the chef/partner and managing partner behind L.A.'s buzzy Red Medicine.
What's your favorite spot to eat after you leave the kitchen?
One of my favorites that's pretty much unanimous at my restaurant is a place called La Cevicheria. Its on Pico in this weird little area and it's a tiny, tiny hole-in-the-wall place -- but it's very clean. It's totally mom and pop, [run by] a Guatemalan couple. The wife attended culinary school in baking and pastry and culinary [skills] so she does a lot of cooking and the husband does the other half. It's basically all ceviches and specialty raw fish dishes and they have a few cooked items. It's all Central America. They have Yucatan-style ceviches and Peruvian-style ceviches and they have all these different tostadas. They have the fucking most delicious fish tacos I've ever had. They're dipped in a batter and fried and served with raw cabbage and crema and salsa -- it's super delicious. The couple have actually been in my restaurant quite a bit to eat.
Last time I went I took my girlfriend -- her whole family is Mexican. Then she took her mom and that same week her mom went back four times and is telling everybody about it. They have some neat dishes that you can't find anywhere like this Caribbean-style curry. It's like a fish stew with coconut milk and chilies.
What are the best things to order there?
Obviously, their fish tacos are gangster. All of their ceviches are delicious. They have some shit on there that you can't find anywhere like bloody clams. Have you ever had bloody clams?
You should go and try one just to say you've had it. It's basically a clam that has blood in it. It tastes like grated pennies.
How did you discover this place?
Actually, my business partner Noah found out about it. I think we literally just drove by and pulled over like, "Oh, we're going there." We've been going for about six to eight months.
And where do you like to hit up, Noah?
Personally, if I'm in the mood for something Asian and it's a little later, say, 11 or something, I generally do Sanamluang on Hollywood. It's a Thai place. Mostly noodles. They have a couple of curries and do some cool stir-fry vegetables. They have a solid roast duck and good soups. They're open 'til 3 and I probably eat there once a week.
The stir-fried bean sprouts with crispy pork are awesome [as is] the roasted duck noodle soup with egg noodles. The shrimp cake is delicious. The duck salad is great. It's a pretty solid menu. I'd say I've tried 80 percent of the menu and that 80 percent is really good.
What's your favorite thing to order there?
There's pretty much always a shrimp cake on the table and there's always bean sprouts with crispy pork on the table. It doesn't matter who I'm going with -- I usually try to order for at least one to two more people than are actually there so most of the menu is on the table most of the time.
How long have you been going there?
Probably since before [Red Medicine] opened -- I'd say a couple years. Jordan [told me about it]. It's next to the Thai market we buy products from.
La Cevicheria, 3809 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA; Wed-Thu, 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat, 11am-9pm
Sanamluang Cafe, 5176 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA; Mon-Sun, 11am-3:30am
Photo of Jordan Kahn by Douglas Adesko