Chris Cosentino joins Umamicatessen
San Francisco's king of offal, Chris Cosentino, is joining Adam Fleischman of Umami Burger to debut a new pork-centric restaurant called Pigg inside of Fleischman's soon-to-open Umamicatessen in downtown Los Angeles.
Located in the historic Orpheum building on Broadway, Fleischman's 170-seat deli concept, which should open in mid-January, is "a bit like a relaxed Bazaar," says Fleischman, referring to the Jose Andres restaurant at the SLS hotel, which is owned by Sam Nazarian's SBE hospitality group. (SBE is also Fleischman's business partner.)
There will be five or so different restaurant concepts ringing the periphery of the dining room, as well as a large full-service bar. All will feature counter service, and food from each can be ordered at any counter, so a diner might sit at the Umami Burger counter and order some charcuterie from Cosentino, a pastrami sandwich from Fleischman's new deli concept, called the Cure, and a dessert from the dessert counter (the chef who will be helming the dessert counter has yet to be announced).
"The idea is to allow for real creativity," Fleischman said. He said he feels that the deli concept hasn't been updated since the '50s.
His goal is to make it so that a diner can choose from five carefully curated menus with five to 10 really great options. At the Cure, for example, Fleischman is fixating on creating the perfect chicken salad sandwich. He also will invite star chefs to guest chef -- so new sandwiches will be introduced on a regular basis.
As far as Pigg goes, Cosentino, who considers Fleischman a friend, said to expect "pork out the wazoo." He says he might do an Iberico crudo (raw sashimi of pork) and a "really beautiful sandwich of pig's ear marinated with chile -- a Sicilian-style pig's ear sandwich."
Both Cosentino and Fleischman said Cosentino will not be an absentee chef. Although he will live in San Francisco with his family, he plans to fly back and forth regularly.
"It's a really short flight," he said. "And this is just a great opportunity for like-minded chefs to all be under one roof creating really fun concepts. You don't see that often."
-- Jessica Gelt
Photo: Chris Cosentino