Krem Miskevich, 31, likes to describe their aspiration bar. It is the vision of a lively and expressive queer chef who enjoys great food items, loud new music and a significant group.
This bar, in concept, is an unpretentious, inclusive put where by individuals can enable free. Patrons never purchase particular person drinks they choose for carafes of vodka and bottles of wine for their desk of buddies. Energetic, largely unappreciated audio thumps via the speakers, and if Krem is involved, you can be expecting a seasonal and clever twist on modern Polish meals.
“My complete spiel is drinking food items,” Krem states, “food that supports consuming. … In Poland, we do a shot of ice chilly vodka and a piece of herring, or a pickle, or beef tartare, or potato with farmer’s cheese, or sausage. Just basic. It’s the most effective.” And it is just one of the inspirations for Fantastic Pierogi, Krem’s monthly pop-up that is coming to Culver City on Feb. 26.
Krem, a indigenous of Warsaw, graduated from culinary faculty in Los Angeles right before working as a prepare dinner in Copenhagen Barcelona, Spain and Warsaw. Their very first position as a cook was at a cafe hooked up to a nightclub in Warsaw. “On my breaks, I would consume vodka and dance in the club,” Krem recollects, “then appear back to the kitchen area to prepare dinner.”
In Barcelona, they fell in love with Spanish traditions involving meals and consume, exclusively cava bars where by you buy a small plate of food stuff (morcilla sausage, for case in point, or marinated white anchovies) with every single consume — places in which ingesting and ingesting are not different acts.
The menu at Superior Pierogi modifications with each pop-up. One particular night time the star of the clearly show is a standard Warsaw tartare made with tuna as a substitute of beef the subsequent, it’s beet soup with kefir, radishes and lobster. Vinegar, spice, great dairy, superb dough and a clever use of potatoes participate in notable roles in Krem’s cooking. A further menu characteristics a Polish “loaded potato” topped with farmer’s cheese, radishes, herbs and “razzle-dazzle.”
Krem hardly ever, if ever, repeats pierogi fillings, which are impressed and seasonal. In Oct, the dumplings came crammed with kabocha squash, the sweet, buttery Japanese vegetable glowing by way of Krem’s deliciously slim dough. In summer time, Krem serves pierogi with smoked blue fish, fromage blanc, leeks and celery. In late January, the pierogi were being vegan, a reflection of their want to consume a lot less meat, a meditation on January as a time when everybody attempts to be a minor a lot more overall health-conscious.
You might consider of a pierogi as a little something basic — filled with potato — specially if your expertise has been minimal to the frozen foodstuff aisle of your nearby grocery retail store. Krem describes going for walks through a Pavilions at 3 a.m., marveling at the sameness. “Every time I see pierogi, [it says] potato [on the box]. And to me, yeah, there is 1 filling with potato [in Poland]. But just about every single taste [in the store] has potato in it. Cheese and potato, spinach and potato, meat and potato.”
In Poland, on the other hand, pierogi may well be stuffed with braised duck, braised veal, lentils, buckwheat, farmer’s cheese and sugar, cabbage or sauerkraut. “I’m by no means likely to extend my filling with potato,” Krem claims. “I want persons to have 4 to six pierogi in one particular go. And I consider I do that. I feel it’s achievable to try to eat my pierogi and not experience stuffed.”
Krem’s cooking isn’t exclusively Polish it’s also a reflection of their persona and time in Los Angeles. They would instead supply components locally than import merchandise from Poland. Food stuff is paired with “natural” wine. Attractive, enjoyment songs (Krem’s picks) blasts by means of the night. “I want to have pleasurable with it, and I want people today to have pleasurable with me,” Krem suggests. “I really feel in the electrical power transfer as a result of foods.”
On a current January night time, Krem’s pop-up was at Gravlax, a Scandinavian bar in Culver Metropolis. The menu provided half of a boiled egg topped with pickled mushrooms and mayonnaise on a snow white plate together with a shot glass total of shochu — and an elegantly simple kosher dill pickle soup. The vegetable broth — built from onion, carrot, celeriac and fennel tops — was served in a bowl with diced kosher pickles, beef bacon and a crispy, crunchy Myrna potato disk.
Behind the bar, Krem created pierogi dough — a mixture of area, finely floor flour, grapeseed oil, water and salt. The moment the dough was fashioned, it was fed by way of a big pasta sheeter. The flattened sheets had been then draped in excess of a pierogi push, right after which Krem scooped a filling of buckwheat, dried apple and tomato into each and every indentation of dough ahead of pressing them shut with the device. Just after Krem crimped the pierogi a bit additional, they were immediately dunked in a pot of flippantly boiling water, where they were being delicately nudged with a prolonged metal spider as they cooked. The total method, from dough to plate, took a make any difference of minutes. Krem fanned the pierogi out on a plate and topped them with pickled mustard seeds, caramelized fennel and onion for a flavorful, complex and meatless serving.
Later, at Gravlax, Krem — donning a vibrant red apron — raised a shot of shochu to the bar, and absolutely everyone raised their eyeglasses in return. The area was comprehensive. The music was loud. For a night time, Krem’s bar was understood. I knew then that I’d be accomplishing this once again the subsequent thirty day period — anywhere Krem and Superior Pierogi may be.
Very good Pierogi will be at the Platform in Culver City, 8850 Washington Blvd., from midday to 3 p.m. Feb. 26, @good_pierogi