Everyone knows Suzanne Tracht at Jar, but ever since the restaurant opened in 2001, there's been a secret weapon in the kitchen, chef de cuisine Preech Narkthong. Now he's stepping out from the shadows.
This month Jar is kicking off Monday Night With Preech, a weekly series of prix-fixe dinners featuring dishes created by Narkthong. The menu for Monday (Nov. 10), for example, starts with uni served with cucumbers, pickled field mushrooms and ponzu; ahi tuna with choy sum and miso-caper butter; and ginger cheesecake with caramel sauce. Dinners are $55 per person before beverages, tax and gratuity.
Narkthong was raised in Bangkok and came to the U.S. as a teenager. His first job was in the kitchen at the Century Plaza Hotel. In 1996, after he had run his own restaurant in the Mid-Wilshire area, he was introduced to Tracht when she was running Jozu and joined her there. When she left to open Jar, she took him with her as her right hand.
Jar, 8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 655-6566, thejar.com.
Popular New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton, author of the bestselling memoir "Blood, Bones and Butter," will be signing her new cookbook "Prune" at a special dinner at Lucques next Tuesday. The four-course menu will highlight dishes from the restaurant and book — grated radish with trout roe and brown butter; pigeon with parsley vinaigrette and seeded toasts; stewed pork butt with creamed hominy and salsa verde; and grilled spring onions, romesco salt and lime; and ricotta ice cream with dark caramel croutons.
Dinner is $55 per person, food only. You can also buy the book for $45. For reservations, call the restaurant at (323) 655-6277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 655-6277, www.lucques.com.
Heading downtown for Shopwalk DTLA? You might want to stop in at highly touted Alma restaurant. Named Bon Appetit's best new restaurant of 2013, Alma will be serving a special three-course menu designed by chef Ari Taymor on Nov. 16 to help celebrate the evening of downtown-centered shopping and dining. The as-yet-undecided menu will be served from 6 to 10 p.m. and will cost $50 per person. Make reservations online on Open Table.
Alma, 952 S Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 244-1422, www.alma-la.com.