The Quick Pitch: Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen, the partners behind the local chain of fast-casual Mendocino Farms artisanal sandwich shops, have opened a sit-down, chef-driven flagship restaurant in downtown L.A.’s Financial District, just down the block from the Walt Disney Concert Hall and MOCA. The menu is globalized, tweaked organic farmhouse fare: tandoori turkey clubs, butternut squash soup with Moroccan spice, confit duck wings with aji Amarillo glaze and sesame-ginger dipping sauce.
The Insider’s Dish: Del Pero and Chen want to use Blue Cow in part as an experimental lab to work on concepts that might later be brought to a wider market at their sandwich shops. To this end, they plan to invite a regular stream of guest chefs in to develop ideas. First up: Jason Travi, formerly of Fraiche, who has created sausages and a burger, as well as his pastry chef wife Miho, who contributed an ice cream sandwich.
The Must-Order Item: Vietnamese banh xeo “tacos” filled with pork belly.
The Best Table: The booth in the rear with the view of the display niche above, which holds the original meat cleaver from Del Pero’s grandfather’s butcher shop in San Francisco’s Little Italy. It’s more than 100 years old.
The Industry Neighbors: Los Angeles Center Studios, where Mad Men tapes, and reality TV production company Magical Elves (Fashion Star).
350 S. Grand Ave., L.A., 213.621.2249, bluecowkitchen.com