Okay, if you live in Downtown Los Angeles, you need to stop what you are doing, click on this link and join the DTLA Dinner Club right now. Um, I’m not sure why you are still reading this… you need to sign up for the DTLA Dinner Club.
The DTLA Dinner Club started in 2011 with a group of DTLA residents who got together for weekly dinner parties. Over the years that tradition has evolved into an invitation only gathering of DTLA residents (and a few invited guests) hosted by celebrity Chef Arnold Myint (more on him in a moment) and get this… it’s FREE. Okay, now go back up to the link and sign up.
I know what you are thinking… what’s the catch? There isn’t one. This is just a great way to meet and mingle with other DTLA residents. There is no agenda. Every guest is asked to bring a bottle of wine to the party. All the food is free.
I was invited to the DTLA Dinner Club last night. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I hiked across town with my bottle of wine to Chef Arnold’s private residence to check it out. I had an exit strategy ready in case I needed to escape, but that was never ever the case. The DTLA Dinner Club was exactly what was promised. It was a group of strangers from across DTLA who gathered together for a delicious meal and stimulating conversation. At the party you never know who might be sitting across from you. I was dying (on the inside… on the outside I played it cool) that Sutan Amrull (Raja from RuPaul’s Drag Race) was seated at the end of the table. I’m a huge fan! Past parties have been attended by NBA star John Sally and director Bryan Singer.
Again, I know what you are thinking? Who pays for this? The food is all sponsored by the new Whole Foods Market on Grand Avenue. Thanks Whole Foods. It’s all prepared by Chef Arnold Myint who you will recognize from his stints on Top Chef and Food Network Star. Our meal last night started with Chilled Cauliflower Soup made of madrass curry, chickpeas, lemon garlic yogurt, coconut milk, almonds and micro cilantro. It was followed by Alaskan Coho Salmon Poke with cucumber, pickled jalapeno, sesame mustard seeds, scallion, dill and ride vinegar. Chef Arnold introduces each course, everyone starts eating, and then the conservation continues. The first question is almost always, “Where do you live in Downtown?” As the night goes on, the conversation turns to favorite DTLA restaurants, and eventually leads to story-swapping between friends.
The third course was Avocado & Smashed Pea Toast topped with a fried quail egg, jamon serano, sprouted grain radish sprouts, pea shoots, mustard seeds and mint. It was followed by the chef’s take on Shepard’s Pie… lamb, beef, mirepoix, red wine, smoked salt Gruyere, Parmesan, hashbrown casserole and parsley. Then Chef Arnold announced, “When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd.” And then dessert appeared. Lemon Curd with clotted cream and lavender pate sablee cookies.
All the food was amazing… AMAZING. The chef already owns three restaurants in Nashville, but he needs to open up a restaurant here in DTLA. Okay, and get this… when Chef Arnold Myint is not cooking, he’s a drag performer named Suzy Wong. OMG! Could this night get any better? Free food and great conversation! I met a lot of great people and made some great contacts. The DTLA Dinner Club is an awesome experience.
Okay, now you can sign up for the DTLA Dinner Club! The dinners fill up fast, so as soon as you get an email that RSVPs are open, you need to act fast. Good luck. I hope to sit next to you at the table soon.