Chef’s Tour: Kris Morningstar’s L.A.
The chef behind the buzzy new Beverly Hills spot Terrine dishes on his favorite local restaurants.
The national culinary cognoscenti has been heaping praise on Kris Morningstar for his populist approach at the So-Cal-style brasserie Terrine, where he’s earned a reputation as a charcuterie master. Here, the chef leads us around L.A. in five meals.
“Texas breakfast is awesome! The Lone Star Migas at HomeState is my jam: smokey, shredded brisket with cheddar and spicy pico de gallo. Finish with a Frito pie.”
“At the Tasting Kitchen in Venice, Casey Lane puts out great food and the service is proper. That sticky bun is sexy! The fried chicken and waffles is one of the best around, and the tomato-braised egg with polenta is so addictive—the spicy sauce is lip-smacking, plus it has a little umami from the cheese. I like to take my friends visiting from out of town because the vibe is fun, and when you’re done, you can walk around Venice and get the beach air.”
“This one depends on where I am and how I feel. My Chef de Cuisine and I go to Connie and Ted's: she loves the lobster roll, I get clams on the half shell and the grilled scallop. We always get two orders of the hot buttered rolls, baked to order in a cast iron. Otherwise, I’m at Ernesto Uchimura's Plan Check. It’s a great place for chef-spotting—last time I was there I saw Marcel Vigneron and Kevin Luzande—and the burger and crack-like smoked fried chicken sandwich with pimento cheese keep me coming back!”
“Whenever my foodie friends come to town, I recommend Sotto. It’s southern Italian with a ton of soul. There’s always new places of the moment like Alimento or Broken Spanish, which I know will please people for years, but Sotto is at the top of my list. I have great memories there too: Test Kitchen (a rotating pop-up of chefs and mixologists) was hosted in this space, I met my business partner, Stephane Bombet, there, and made friends with so many chefs. Just walking through the door reminds me of good times.”
“Shin-Sen-Gumi or The Pikey! Shin-Sen-Gumi is where chefs go for a great bowl of ramen and octopus takoyaki. My first time there was right after filming “Knife Fight” with Ilan Hall and Giovanni Reda. I had no idea that Giovanni was an icon in the skateboarding community, and three kids came up asking for his picture. I asked if that happens a lot, and he just said “Yeah… a bit.” The Pikey has a classic pub feel and stays open later; the chicken liver toast and Welsh rarebit is the perfect snack.”
Nate Storey is an assistant editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Instagram at @storeys and Twitter at @StoreysTL.