It all began with an email from my friend a few days ago, right before the weekend. The email began with some words and then “…this is unlike any other culinary experience you ever had” Suffice to say I was sold.
She continued to say that: “there were rules” and “they were many” and “I had to read before applying” and yes I was more than just intruiged at this stage. The place was called “Wolvesmouth” and it wasn’t really a place. It was more of a participation in the LA underground culinary scene. Whatever the hell that means.
I’ll save you the details and just get right to it. ‘Wolvesmouth’ is the brain child of chef Craig Thornton. A master at his craft, to say the least. But the evening was not really about him. It was more about the feast. A 9 course meal with a catch. You were not to know the menu, until you arrived, and even then you’d have to go read it on the fridge. You had no idea who the guests were. Getting invited precluded that you had to apply “nicely” to the event and you were accepted under arbitrary circumstances. Also, they only told you the location of the place a few hours before the event. They just told you the general area the day before. The email ended with BYOB and to only dress in something that you find comfortable.
The day of the event (last Friday) we got the email and me, and my friend, were accepted, and we were excited. The place was described as a loft in the Toy District in Central Los Angeles. And it was exactly that.
The email was specific to say that we had to be there by 7:15 and that we didn’t want to be late. So we abided. I got a Napa Vally Cabernet from my local winery and my friend got an exotic Rosé from Tulsa.
When we arrived we found a group forming outside the apartment building. The man who owned/rented the loft was keeping us waiting till we formed a group. The evening was choreographed to the last details. For instance, the music kept changing or was louder depending on how much the crowd interacted with each other.
The guy who owned/rented the loft had tattoos up to his chin. A tall wide shouldered man who seemed like a rocker. I don’t remember his name, but he could have been a Chris or a Mark. He greeted us and let us in. Most of us took the large elevator to the roof. The roof was really the second level and the lofts were just open air, it was like you were in a ground level, but really you weren’t.
The apartment had genuine snake skin in one corner and fox skulls in another. It was an awesome place, beyond description. But at the center was the kitchen. A huge, beautiful kitchen. With 4-6 people working on the meals with the chef at the helm.
I didn’t know who the chef was at the time. Me and my friend were by the grill in the center of the kitchen and saw the beautiful raw lower rib eye cut cooking under the grill with Craig flipping it at that moment (pictured below). The sight was appetizing. I couldn’t describe it in words, except to say it was red and it was cooking to perfection that very moment. The chef described the first course and said “..this is an underrated cut and you will enjoy it” I wasn’t skeptical.
On my right was a talented Jewish fashion designer who had his own line of clothes, next to him was a chef, next to him was his model girlfriend, in front of me was a guy who owned his own creative agency, next to him was an ex-UFC wrestler and in front of him was an exotic looking (even by Kuwaiti standards) Persian girl who taught graphic design. Yeah, the crowd were diverse, to say the least and that was just MY side of the table. There were at least 20 people on the huge table. And I was the novelty Kuwaiti guy, so go figure.
Also, there was a woman going around asking everyone questions, we later found out that the woman was a writer for ‘The New Yorker’ she was writing an article about the underground LA culinary scene.
The night ended 5 hours later. They handed us all an empty red envelope, with Chinese cats and symbols, to put our “donation” in. You can pay what ever you want. We heard stories of people only paying a dollar.
It was, without a doubt, the most amazing experience I had. I loved it to bits. Meeting new people and discussing the food we had was just an experience I never had. Not like this.