What started off as a typical pleasant media dinner at WP24 in Downtown, surprisingly turned into a private kitchen tour led by none other than Wolfgang Puck!
I've been to the wp24 restaurant and lounge by Wolfgang Puck several times now. I especially like taking people who aren't familiar with Downtown Los Angeles, because it's located on the 24th floor of The Ritz Carlton at LA Live and has panoramic views of the city. It’s also not out of the ordinary if you spot Charles Barkley, the Lakers or even Lady Gaga dining here when performing at The Staples Center or nearby Nokia theater. The modern Asian cuisine is also superb with lot of fun bites from Dim Sum to spicy sushi. Food & Wine Magazine also listed WP24 as One of the Best New Restaurants in America!
The seafood here is especially fresh. Just take a look at the following photo, you’d think this was a large chicken nugget since it’s so big, but no, it’s a juicy scallop!
We also sampled their sushi, baby pork belly bao buns, spring rolls with Maine lobster and prawns, lettuce cups and Chinese crystal dumplings. The dishes play a lot with different spices, which are often drizzled on top from hot sesame oil, ginger-Serrano chili vinaigrette, spicy mustards and honeys, and sweet and sour sauces to curry.
Just before we stuffed ourselves further on desserts. I heard a familiar voice with a deep accent behind me and I turned to see Wolfgang Puck in his chef coat greeting all of us. The PR folks and restaurant manager organizing the event seemed equally surprised and delighted by his impromptu appearance. He then shook each one of our hands and happily posed for photos. Now, I've met a lot of celeb chefs from TV and cookbooks over the years, but this one had me giddy! I mean, come on, he's Wolfgang Puck! I've been to over a dozen of his restaurants and his accent is so cute!
Instead of just saying hi and goodbye, Wolfgang asked us if we wanted to come into the kitchen, which had some of the servers scrambling ahead of us, lol. He then led our group of 20 into the small but efficient and clean kitchen. We got to see the Chef de Cuisine Sara Johannes commanding the kitchen and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho making the final touches on her award-winning desserts. We even got to sample several of the desserts hot off the oven and right from the pan. After all, Wolfgang shared that he likes to tell all young cooks "You have to taste what you make," and he did as he perused the different areas.
Also, as for cocktails, do try their Passion Fruit Cosmo, which tasted like a punch due to the passion fruit puree and easily hid the alcohol, in fact, too easily. I was half way done with my drink before I even realized it.
900 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015