This week, 10 celebrated Los Angeles chefs are stepping outside their popular restaurants and setting up shop at the Hollywood Palladium for a pandemic-era dining experience.
The Resy Drive-Thru, offering a 10-course restaurant tasting menu enjoyed entirely from one’s car, has taken over the Hollywood venue’s parking lot on Thursday, Oct. 15, and Friday, Oct. 16, in a first-of-its-kind event. Los Angeles favorites Nancy Silverton, Curtis Stone, Nyesha Arrington, Konbi, Night + Market and Jon & Vinny’s are among those participating in the drive-thru, which sold out in less than 10 minutes and will welcome 600 guests over the two nights. Among the night one diners were Tyra Banks and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Here’s how it works: Upon arrival, masked attendees have their temperatures taken and are given bags of hand sanitizer, then begin their drive-thru experience with an appetizer and non-alcoholic drinks, delivered by masked and gloved employees to their car window. A menu of the upcoming 10 courses — ranging from spicy deviled eggs and Thai pasta salad to spiced lamb ribs and slow roasted pork collar to a ricotta donut and ganache tart — is provided, along with a designated soundtrack that features songs to coincide with each meal.
From there, guests move through the parking lot to a series of five stations, where two courses are delivered to the car at each stop. Diners have 10 minutes to dig in before moving onto the next station, and are assigned a designated waiter who guides their car from “restaurant” to “restaurant,” each represented by a tent whipping up never-before-seen dishes in the lot.
The drive-thru event, presented by American Express, benefits chef Jose Andres’ nonprofit World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that has activated thousands of restaurants and kitchens to feed communities in need, tackling the hunger and economic crises on two fronts: getting food to hungry people while keeping restaurants and their teams open and working. L.A.-based apron and kitchen gear brand Hedley & Bennett also donated 1,000 masks to World Central Kitchen’s efforts, in addition to providing a mask for every drive-thru attendee.
“The reality is yes, I am busy trying to make my own restaurants work, but to be able to have a distraction such as this drive-thru experience, I welcome,” said Silverton, co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza and Chi Spacca who prepared Armenian-style lamb ribs for the event. “I love to create food that tastes best in the environment that you’re eating in. In this case, you’re eating in your car, so you need something you can eat with your hands, something you can gnaw on, and a rib is that perfect dish.”
Added chef Nyesha Arrington, “I’m so excited to be here; I’m so excited to do an event, I’ve missed this.”
The drive-thru is not the only innovative culinary event happening in the city, as along with a growing list of outdoor dining options, The Gastro Garage catering crew will take over the W Hollywood rooftop for eight nights in October and November for a blowtorch-powered eight-course dining experience. Their Torched pop-up dinner series begins tonight.