Nearly two years ago, we learned that Elia Aboumrad, the Top Chef pot-stirrer, veteran sous chef at Joel Robuchon in Paris, and friend-of-The Gorbals, was plotting her own updated French fine-dining room called Avec Moi, with a bit of a brothel look on her mind. Eater fleshes out the news that the chef is now teamed up with former Le Cirque, Fleur de Lys, Craftsteak, and Restaurant Guy Savoy-opening pastry chef Uyen Nguyen for their own casual restaurant, named Gorge, filling us with anticipation for the marriage of two culinary talents from diverse backgrounds. (Aboumrad is Mexican and of Lebanese heritage, Nguyen a Viet-born SoCal girl, and the two met while training at Ecole Lenotre in Paris). Gorge is currently set to open this coming Monday on Sunset Blvd. east of La Cienega. And what will be served?
The owners say the name “Gorge” is a reference to a famous French bellicose bellow meaning “To the throat!” that became a kitchen colloquialism. Though naturally, it gives us mental images of this dude.
The restaurant is described as a charcuterie house and wine bar for a section of the city yet to be over-saturated in cured meats. Aboumrad’s menu will hinge completely on charcuterie, with authentic French sausage and choucroute made in-house, traditional head cheese, salads topped with white anchovies and confit bell peppers, chevre chaud salad with lavender brioche, farmhouse terrines with pickled mushrooms or pig’s ears, and creations like red snapper, mackerel, and scallop terrine, smoked oyster mousse, and frisee with bacon flan and shallot rings.
Nguyen’s desserts will pay tribute to Saint Honore, with a short, seasonal selection of traditional cream-filled, cream-topped choux puffs, including a classic vanilla filled with vanilla chantilly, vanilla bean pastry cream, and crunchy caramel, a lychee raspberry with rosewater cream, and a pistachio macaron filled with bing cherries, vanilla chantilly, and pistachio cream.
In addition, Gorge has a master sommelier in the house, Darius Allyn, to help oversee a program of cocktails, beer, and wine. With strong team and concept in place, the prospect of traditional French craftsmanship on The Sunset Strip from two passionate, Paris-trained, high-caliber talents bodes well for the palate, local charcuterie ennui, and the style-over-substance neighborhood it’s invading.
Gorge opens September 10 at 6:00 P.M. Reservations can be made at 310-657-6328 (which spells MEAT, btw). See the full dinner and pastry menus below.
Gorge, 8917 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood; 310-657-6328.
Bacon flan, Crisp shallot rings, Chive, Warm mustard vinaigrette, Poached egg
CHEVRE CHAUD SALAD
Lavender Brioche, Organic greens, Roasted pine nuts, Honey balsamic vinaigrette, Confit grape tomatoes
White marinated anchovies, Confit red bellpepper, Roasted eggplant
CHICKEN LIVER PARFAIT
Cornichons, Country bread
SMOKED OYSTER MOUSEE
Beef jus en gelée, Baguette crisps
Extra virgin olive oil poached wild French mackerel, Arugula, Parmesano reggiano, Rustic baguette
PIG EAR TARTINE
Pig ear confit, Italian black truffles, Mushroom duxelle, Parmesano reggiano, Rustic baguette
Zucchini, Eggplant, Bell pepper, Squash, Tomato confit, Pistou
Pickled baby Trumpet Royale mushroom, House salad
FROMAGE DE TETE
Head cheese, Country bread & butter
ROUGET & NOIX DE ST. JACQUES TERRINE
Whole Scallops, Red Snapper, Citrus reduction, Fines herbes salad
Morteau sausage, Honey cornbread, House mustard, House ketchup
Toulouse style pork sausage, Sauteed summer vegetables, GORGE sauce
Served cold, Poached fingerling potatoes, Choucroute, German mustard
GORGE CHEESE SELECTION
Vanilla bean pastry cream, Crunchy caramel, Vanilla chantilly
Dark chocolate pastry cream, Chocolate chantilly, Chocolate macaron
Rosewater pastry cream, Lychee fruit, Raspberries, Vanilla chantilly
Pistachio pastry cream, Bing cherries, Vanilla chantilly, Pistachio macaron
Coffee pastry cream, Mocha chantilly, Gianduja truffle