If you’re a Sprudge reader in the United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand, the notion of an excellent coffee bar adding a smart new food program might not seem like news. But here in Los Angeles, and across the United States really, the notion of a great kitchen in a coffee bar remains a largely foreign notion. There are exceptions, of course, such as the excellent offerings at Blacksmith in Houston and the dinner service at Box Kite in Manhattan, but overall the concept is still just getting started here in North America.
Progress in any field happens in fits and bursts. When Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski contemplated adding a breakfast and lunch menu at Go Get Em Tiger, they knew they’d needed to make sure that a food menu would complement their outstanding coffee service. Mr. Glanville especially was interested in developing a menu that focuses heavily on fresh produce. Enter Todd Chang, pictured above, who has worked extensively with fresh vegetables and herbs during his time at Le Comptoir, cooking alongside coffee-obsessed noted chef Gary Menes.
Mr. Chang, whose CV also includes Momofuku Ssam Bar, has most recently been found making killer Thai dishes at Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles, housed in the same teeming complex as Mssrs. Glanville & Babinski’s other coffee bar, G&B Coffee. There at Sticky Rice, Mr. Chang’s relationship with the staff of G&B coffee was built over shared lunch breaks and plates of BBQ chicken, bowls of curry, and of course, the restaurant’s signature sticky rice.
Now Mr. Chang stands behind the counter at GGET, slathering romesco on baguettes layered with romanesco, roasted spring onions, pickled grapes, and turnip greens. He dresses his kale caesar salads with a thick, creamy dressing made of anchovies and topped with tiny croutons, and garnishes his avocado toast with tiny tomatoes, slices of radish, and pieces of flat leaf parsley, before seasoning each piece with fresh lemon juice and sea salt.
The opening menu at Go Get Em Tiger also includes a seasonal sweet potato soup served alongside a grilled sharp cheddar and parmesean cheese sandwich. The morning toast features a sous vide egg with spring onions, citrus, and roasted potatoes, topped off with hollandaise. A jamon beurre sandwich rounds out the lunch menu with a meatier offering; look for housemade gravlax coming soon.