Marcus Samuelsson Cooks in L.A., Loves Mozza, Korean Food, and Of Course, Animal

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Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Marcus Samuelsson was in L.A. this past weekend to preside over a preparation of his shrimp and grits at SLS Hotel, a dish that was served to guests at Buick's Discovery Tour on Saturday and Sunday. This chef of considerable charm spoke about his passion for regional eats, something that will be in evidence at the affordable restaurant Red Rooster he's opening soon at 125th and Lennox in Harlem to celebrate the neighborhood's eclectic mix of cultures. When it comes to L.A., Samuelsson, like most visiting chefs, revealed that he'd had an excellent dinner heavy on pig parts at Animal, walked down to Little Ethiopia (walked?), and expressed enthused admiration for Nancy Silverton's pizza, which he considers among the very best out there. So, what type of cuisine does the chef think L.A. is doing better than anyone else ion the country?

When it comes to "what L.A. does better than anyone else, something that's hard to admit for a New Yorker," Samuelsson gushed about our Korean food, saying it was the best he's had in the States. As for whether or not he would ever open in L.A., the chef joked, "No, because Wolfgang and Joachim have all the good spaces," before admitting that ten years ago the idea would have been laughable to him. But now, reveling in L.A.'s diversity, he gave the city due credit for its range of authentic regional eats. However, we're not going to see him back too soon, as the chef made clear there were no plans in his future just yet for a West Coast expansion.

Marcus Samuelssons Red Rooster Menu Takes Shape [Grub Street]