It would probably take us a while to taste all 120 beers offered on tap over at the SmithHouse Tap & Grill in West Los Angeles. It’s a gastropub, created by Owner, Curtis Nysmith, with a cocktail list, automated draft system, where you can pour your own booze at the table and a “classical American cuisine with a global influence” menu created by “Top Chef All-Stars'” Angelo Sosa. [info]
The Space, The Food, and The Concept
Curtis wanted to create a space that reminded him of places that he has been to. He tells us, “I’ve been in London for a while and I moved to here (L.A.) from New York. I love the feel of places that have been there for hundreds of years. It gives you the feeling of coziness.” The space is constructed by Kristofer Keith and his team over at Spacecraft (who also constructed Mohawk Bend and BoHo).
When Curtis conceptualized his idea of creating a gastropub he wanted to offer pub food and bring it to another level. This is when he hired Angelo Sosa to create the menu. “The concept is an elevated gastropub,” Angelo tells us. What does it mean? He wanted to take classic items like hamburgers and mac n cheese and heighten the ingredients; elevate, take it to the next level. Angelo calls it the “Yummy factor.” The menu features items like Vietnamese Steak Bánh Mì, Grilled Tilapia Sandwich, SmithHouse Wedge and The SmithHouse burger, a beef burger with a blend of brisket and ground chuck. Angelo ensured us that they only use cows that have been treated humanely.
[quote]Curtis thinks Angelo is the perfect person for creating the food at SmithHouse, “He’s the hottest name in American cuisine right now. We have a lot of the same views on a lot of things. He has Eastern influences in his cooking, which I love. I love spices and fusion. When I bite into his food, it’s not always what I would expect.”
With 120 beers ranging from craft breweries like Maine’s Shipyard Brewing Company to Belgium’s Blanche De Bruxelles, SmithHouse became an opportunity for Angelo to play with beers in his cuisine. “Beer is definitely a key component in the menu development,” Angelo says. The bar also offers “SmithHouse Original Blends” of beer-cocktails like “Chocolate Covered Cherry” a mix of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and a splash of Mort Kriek Subite Cherry Lambic. Beer floats served with vanilla ice cream are also available for those with a sweet tooth.
What’s Next for Angelo
Angelo’s philosophy is to take it one day at a time. He says, “What we do today will predict what tomorrow will be.” Come November, he’ll be launching a cookbook which he describes as “It’s a cookbook of my life that made me who I am as a chef.” The book will be made public sometime in May of next year. Angelo is also working on a television show coming out next year. When we asked for more details, he smiled at us. We’ll just have to wait and see.