Not saying we’re Miss Cleo now or anything, but our prediction last week in Eater that a cannabis pop-up was coming down L.A.’s, er, pipe-line was only just a little hazy in our Costco crystal ball. It turns out that it’s not Jon Shook and Roy Choi who will unite on L.A.’s first marijuana restaurant in 2012, but the radical partnership formed between Starry Kitchen and Laurent Quenioux will tackle the devil’s weed for an upcoming dinner.
Rumors have it that the French chef and the formerly underground restaurant are returning to the fast life, planning an upcoming event that finds Quenioux, who has rallied behind kali-based cooking almost as fervently as he’s stood against the foie gras ban, planning to highlight ganja as a seasoning in several dishes, while Starry chef Thi Tran will showcase a wide range of Chinese herbs as half of the collaboration.
As to the veracity of the rumors, Starry Kitchen’s main man Nguyen Tran simply offers, "See no evil, hear no evil." The alleged pop-up, which could rear its head in about two months or so, would not be housed in the Trans’ Downtown restaurant, but will likely be found in a private "secret" location, recalling the owners’ own clandestine start in their North Hollywood apartment.
Since there are endless opportunities to eat oneself out of his or her gourd in this day and age of Hash Oil Hubby Bars and Orange Kush soda, the planned pop-up is purposefully steering away from just trying to get people irie, instead choosing to showcase the flavor potential inherent in wacky tobacky (which might be a little like reading Playboy "for the articles"). Chinese herbs, predominantly used in soups, are legendary for their own medical properties, and will similarly be prepared in new and novel preparations to showcase their own previously under-appreciated properties.
So far, details for reservations and actual recipes are unavailable, as a menu is supposedly still being hatched, adding a new touch of danger and mystery that was a big part of the original Starry Kitchen’s reputation. So until we learn what’s going into Quenioux’s next "pot-au-feu," just consider this a heads-up to keep your eyes peeled for more. And of course, if you need a good wine recommendation, all we can say is look to NorCal.