Chef Kevin Meehan has created a buzz among LA foodies in the know with Kali Dining, a weekly pop-up dining experience held at different locations with a rotating menu. The one constant: the five-course meal is a safe-bet for diners looking to insert a little adventure into their normal routine.
At Kali Dining, technically a private dinner club, guests are invited to make a reservation and enjoy a five-course meal prepared by Meehan, usually at a communal table in an intimate setting. Meehan serves contemporary Californian cuisine in a casual environment where diners are encouraged to socialize while he cooks.
We spoke with Meehan recently about the origins of Kali Dining and his favorite places to eat in LA.
What inspired the Kali Dining pop-up restaurant concept?
It came at a time that I was doing some soul searching and wanted to do something different with my career. I wanted to do something small, real small. The focus would be on food and food only. I figure I would give it a shot and start with my immediate social network and it just took off.
How long have you lived/worked in LA?
I moved here in 2000 to work at Cafe Pinot.
You’re originally from New York. Are there any pockets of LA that remind you of New York?
I live in Culver City, it reminds me of Brooklyn. There is lots of gentrification and new businesses opening, like that of Brooklyn in the past 15 years.
Who is the most interesting person you know here?
I would say Ludo. I moved to LA to work for him 13 years ago and worked under him for three years at two restaurants. He was intense, so intense we barely speak; the dude scares me. Now he is on TV as a host on primetime and is so successful. It blows my mind.
What attractions does every foodie need to see in LA?
We have great farmers markets and Korean food.
What was the first dish you ever cooked and where did you prepare it?
I remember cooking whole blue fish wrapped in aluminum foil with lemon and lawrys.
What do you consider to be your signature dish?
Beef tenderloin with burnt onion jam,smoked potatoes and charred leeks.