One hump or two? Camel picadillo will be one of the dishes served on Saturday, Jan. 31, at a special one-night pop-up tapas feast at downtown's Coco Laurent.
Chef Robert "Bean" Castaneda of Living Breathing Kitchen and chef Jean Paul Peluffo of the Fair Game food truck are collaborating on an epic 12-course tapas dinner, paired with two specialty cocktails and dessert. The cost is $80 per person.
The camel picadillo is paired with a white mole sauce and a chocolate bell pepper sauce and sprinkled with edible flowers. Camel meat is prized as a delicacy in the Middle East, and the hump is considered the choicest part.
Other somewhat less unusual treats include wild pig taquitos with smoked corn, wild boar sausage with pina colada chutney, and gluten-free lobster pancakes with mango relish and roasted sunflower seeds.
Desserts include a Pavlova with quince membrillo, charcoal peanuts and grappa chocolate mousse. Each chef will also present a special cocktail — a sangria doused with rum and vanilla, and a tequila-based concoction featuring hibiscus juice. Here's the full menu.
"Food should be exciting and sexy," Castaneda says. "I love combining international flavors to deliver something unexpected and memorable, and I love doing it in unexpected settings."
Castaneda has cooked for many downtown L.A. spots, including Pattern Bar, the Gorbals, Rocket Pizza and Two Bits. His 7-year-old Living Breathing Kitchen pop-up has been occupying the space at Coco Laurent since Jan. 2, where he will be offering weekly rotating tasting menus until at least early March.
Peluffo, who is from Nice, France, is the third generation of chefs in his family. He has worked in restaurants around the world form Guinea to Mexico to the Ivory Coast. In 2000, he served as the executive chef for the Group of 8 summit in Genoa, Italy. But in recent years he has gone over to the wild side, serving up grilled alligator steaks and boar sausage from his Fair Game food truck.
There are two seatings for the event, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Reservations may be made by calling 213-884-7201 or 310-402-7570, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also purchase tickets here, if you can get over the psychological hump of eating a giant desert mammal with lovely eyelashes.