Traveling restaurant night, Magnum — by chef Joseph Mahon and “wine pimp” David Haskell — is finally hitting the Westside, taking over kawaii Japanese maid cafe Royal/T in Culver City for its third incarnation.
A fitting setting not only because it complements the event’s drive to raise money for the Japanese Sake Brewers Association‘s (JSBA) rebuild of the sake industry decimated by last month’s earthquake and tsunami but because, selfishly and simply speaking, I can walk there if I really wanted to. And bonus that there will be a bar lounge area for diners on a budget (me again!) who want to just pop in and enjoy Mahon’s bar bites along with Haskell’s wine, beer and sake pairings a la carte.
Haskell handpicked the wines ($14 a glass) and selected the sake and beer from Royal/T’s own list and you can take your pick of which one you want to pair your bite with.
Here, he shares what you can expect from a few of his bar bite pairings:
“Brown buttered oysters will be much more heavy and rich. Going with Nigori, unfiltered and unrefined I want that aspect so when you get that oyster in your mouth with the butter and you get the unfiltered sensation, it will sparkle. So the oyster will star fizzing up in your back palate, so I’m making it taste like champagne. I’m giving you that champagne kind of palate feel.
“Sliders. With the sliders I’m doing Coedo Shiro, it’s a wheat beer with lots of grassy overtones. The slider is made with grass-fed meat so when you get that actual beef in your mouth, you get that grassiness. And the back part of it is mayonnaise and the texture will become creamy and milky, like a milkshake in your mouth. It smoothes out the beer.
“Tuna roll. Jicama crab, spicy mango. Doing the Hitachino Red Rice Ale. I like the way the dish has spice and fruit but doesn’t have that herbal greenery which the beer does. The fat of the tuna complements the dish and beer.”
For a peek at some of Haskell’s pairings for dinner, check out my LA Weekly post.
The bar lounge will be located in the space usually reserved for the cafe/art gallery’s store and DJ Matt will be spinning to keep things festive. Casual diners can kick back and take in the latest funky art exhibit, Facemaker — a collection of street art by young artists from around the world — with their paired bar bites.
By the way, Magnum is also conducting a silent auction to benefit the JSBA. You don’t have to attend the dinners to bid, just email your bids to magnumdh [at] gmail.com.
The auction features brag-worthy items like a dinner by five celebrity chefs — including Michael Voltaggio, Walter Manzke and Joseph Mahon; lunch at Jitlada with well-known food blogger My Last Bite, rare wines like a 1983 Pothier Rieusset Les Rugiens and a butchering class from the newly opened Lindy & Grundy butcher shop in West Hollywood.
EVENT: SUNDAY, APRIL 17 to TUESDAY, APRIL 19
8910 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232 (map)
Royal/T: (310) 559-6300
Dinner reservations: (323) 798-4648 or email email@example.com
Twitter: @RoyalTcafe, @magnum_dh, @davidshaskell, @josephmahon