September 2, 2010 | 10:00pm
Chef Vartan Abgaryan of A Restaurant in Newport Beach will take up residence at Test Kitchen L.A. on Saturday, September 4.
Test Kitchen L.A. is a dedicated space in West L.A. where chefs can take up residence for one day or several, testing new recipes on diners who are not friends, family or business associates, and get the brutal truth, good or bad.
Five courses will be offered for $50: bay scallops, cauliflower soup, New Zealand turbot, a new pork dish and a chocolate tart, all of which seem to mesh well into A Restaurant's existing Cal-Italian, seafood-heavy menu.
I went Test Kitchen L.A. for Jordan Kahn's first stint (he will have another next week), with Vietnamese-inspired dishes being researched for his upcoming Beverly Hills restaurant Red Medicine. Some of the dishes were excellent, and some were not; that's why it's called a test kitchen.
Reservations for Abgaryan's turn in the kitchen are still available (at the time of writing) through OpenTable
(Test Kitchen does not accept telephone reservations); if they book fully, monitor Test Kitchen L.A.'s Twitter feed at @TestKitchenLA
for cancellations throughout the day. A word of advice: arrive half an hour early so that you can sit at the bar and enjoy cocktails (including custom creations) from some of the finest bartenders in the Southland.