Everybody loves a very good comeback story, and chef Douglas Rankin is within the midst of 1. The Trois Mec alum opened Silver Lake’s Bar Restaurant in late 2019 and secured a glowing write-up from the Los Angeles Occasions saying the eatery had “eccentricity and charisma” in February 2020. The timing was every little thing and Rankin — like different LA cooks and eating places — struggled all through the pandemic, solely to shut in June 2022.
Rankin’s return comes full circle tonight with the opening of Bar Chelou. He partnered with Entire Cluster Hospitality and took over the previous Saso house subsequent door to the Pasadena Playhouse, the place his love of Spanish, French, and Asian flavors is on full show. Whereas Rankin pulls from his traditional French coaching, it doesn’t restrict his strategy to the menu, creating every little thing from a $13 clam toast as much as a $98 dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye.
Bar Chelou’s menu is organized from gentle to heavier fare and from smaller to bigger plates. “Chelou” interprets to “unusual” or “surprising” in French, and the small plates embody marinated olives, a sprouting cauliflower au poivre with Sichuan peppers, and carrots râpées with coconut dressing, lime leaf, and pommes allumettes. The heartier dishes could be the aforementioned ribeye together with an Iberico pork chop with cabbage, fennel pollen, and furikake. Within the coming weeks, Rankin’s crew can even supply two tasting menus that includes six and nine-course meals.
For Bar Chelou, Rankin introduced over most of his kitchen crew from Bar Restaurant, together with chef de delicacies, Emilio Perez, his pastry chef Raymond Morales and sous chef Peton Johnson. Managing companion Taylor Parsons assembled 40 wine choices, draft and bottled beers, aperitifs, and cocktails.
About that inside, those that dined at Saso will simply discover the adjustments from native designers Lovers Unite. It took them lower than two months to drape the inside in muslin, take away the banquettes, and set up a room-length chandelier in the primary eating space. There’s an even bigger rework of the house coming as effectively.
To be clear, Rankin says this isn’t Bar Restaurant 2.0. He’s desperate to deliver new flavors to the Pasadena crowds. “My hope is for folks to have two completely different experiences,” says Rankin. “You may are available and expertise the meals and have extra intricate or fascinating snacks than you usually have within the French world. Additionally, it’s actually vital that we now have a spot accessible [where] folks don’t really feel like each time they arrive in they should spend 300 bucks.”
Bar Chelou is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday via Saturday at 37 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena. Safe a desk by way of Resy.
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