Vernon Cardenas is the executive chef at State Social House, the new three-tiered restaurant, bar and cigar lounge on the Sunset Strip. Cardenas was formerly the corporate executive chef for Innovative Dining Group's Boa, Katana and Sushi Roku as well as executive chef at Pink Taco. He's bringing his background in Asian and Mexican cuisines and classic French training to a fusion-heavy menu of pork belly tacos, Pacific bass with corn succotash and bacon-braised kale, shishito peppers with citrus soy and shichimi spice and more. But if you're looking to dig into a burger with Jameson onion jam, or an order of Buffalo wings while you watch a game, he's doing that too.
What's coming up next on your menu? We are adding a few new burgers like the Monte Cristo with prosciutto, sunny-side up egg with French toast buns, Gruyère cheese, powdered sugar and a side of pure maple syrup. We are also adding a few new tacos to our menu that include shrimp, fried chicken and Kobe beef. Last, but definitely not least, the ginger-marinated pork chops on garlic spinach and a new tuna salad.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can't live without, other than your knives? My Japanese mandolin "Benriner."
What's your favorite breakfast? A michelada, or an extra helping of pillow.
Your favorite day off away from the kitchen is? Restaurant hopping between four to five different places, trying different appetizers, beers, wines and cocktails.
What chef has most influenced you? Yuki Ota from Sushi Ota in San Diego and Susumu Fukui, formerly of Le Petite Chaya, originator of French/Japanese fusion in the U.S. and the man behind the original Chaya Brasserie in Los Feliz.
8782 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 657-8100, www.statesocialhouse.com.
Want more feel-good food news? Follow me on Twitter: @Jenn_Harris_