Yes, Steven Alan, the man who New York says “reinvented the button-down for artfully ruffled hipsters,” conducted his phone interview with us over brown rice at M Café in Los Angeles (he’s there to sort out the details of his upcoming Hollywood store, while scouting out a location for another store in Venice, where he went to high school). But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a New York eater at heart. He grew up here and lives in Chinatown, where he indulges in Malaysian noodle breakfasts and Shanghai dumplings. We asked him what he ate around town during a frenetic week of preparing his men’s and women’s lines for his first ever Fashion Week presentation.
Thursday, December 13
I go to Le Petit Abeille because it’s in Tribeca, close to where I work. I had scrambled eggs with salmon and scallions and goat cheese. It’s something I ask them to make for me. They usually have it with sour cream, and I don’t eat sour cream. I had that and Awake tea.
I have an employee who bakes, and she does everything vegan. She had made this banana loaf for a breakfast meeting. She had wrapped a chunk of it up in a paper towel. I forgot that I had it, but the next day I found the bar in my pocket. I had that as an afternoon snack.
For dinner I had the skate from Odeon. We started with raviolis with sage and squash and had some wine.
Friday, December 14
We went to this Korean place in Tribeca on West Broadway, adjacent to Columbine. We went there for lunch and had bi bim bop. They brought us a dessert made from jellied squash. And I had a barley tea. Later that afternoon I had a craving for cookies, and I went to Columbine and had a cowboy cookie.
We had a holiday party that night on Clinton Street — it was just a bunch of veggies and cheese and salami. When I got home around midnight, I was really hungry. I had made some Japanese potatoes a few mornings previously, so I mixed them with onions and leftover snowpea leaves. I added mentaiko, a pickled cod-fish roe.
Saturday, December 15
My five-year-old son stayed over, and he wanted Amy’s Frozen Pizza. I ended up eating half of his for breakfast. And then I had a yogurt with açai, honey, and granola.
I took my son to his soccer and then his tae kwon do classes. After that I had to pick up stereo speakers in Brooklyn — we went to this Korean restaurant on Graham Street, and I had a fermented soybean stew. My son had these chop chai noodles.
At 8:30 p.m., I had some sushi from Mishima with a beer and tea. Then I had another holiday party [in Williamsburg] with a woman who works for me. Her friend works at Murray’s Cheese, so there was a lot of really good cheese and salami. It was that, tequila, and that was all I ate. I left the party at 2 a.m. and stopped off on Bedford Avenue and got a pumpernickel onion bagel at the Bagel Shop.
Sunday, December 16
In the morning I had a birthday party I had to take my son to. They had a regular spread of bagels and cream cheese. I had more bagels and a slice of pizza, and then it was a blistering cold day so we went home, and in the health food store I got a Utopia chicken potpie. He wanted noodles, so we went to the place that opened on East Broadway, Food Shing. I had the oxtail soup with noodles. At night, I was craving cereal and milk, so I had Heritage Rice with soy milk around 10 p.m.
Monday, December 17
I had yogurt with granola and açai. I had lunch at 11:30 p.m. Across from the Pakistan Tea House there’s another taxi driver kind of place. I had Tandoori, spinach, and dhal, and then I had a green tea back in my showroom because I had an appointment. At 5 p.m., I had a Japanese cookie that was a holiday present someone gave me.
I went to Les Enfants Terribles and had red snapper and banana leaf with rice. We also had Korhogofefemougou— the strangest name I’ve ever seen on a menu. It’s grilled steak in a marinade of spices and cassava, fries, and a salad. To start we had a lamb, prune, date compost in rice paper and papaya, grapefruit, and endive.
Tuesday, December 18
I usually get a coconut [from a street vendor] when I work out, and I got a few oranges that I brought back to work.
Dinner was at Blossom. I had raviolis with cashew cream and a Brazilian stew called feijoadinha with tempeh.
Wednesday, December 19
I was on Virgin Air, and they have a fruit-and-cheese basket you can order on the plane. Then I was craving Mexican food from this great place in Venice, La Fiesta Brava. I had a chicken burrito, salsa, chips and a tamarind soda. It was very heavy, but really, really good.
For dinner I had risotto with a lamb sauce, artichoke salad, and soft mozzarella, and some sort of apple pastry they brought us. When I’m in L.A., I usually eat either the heavy stuff or the healthy stuff.