Who needs three days what you can get done in two? We're tightening up the OTL format to allow more time to
eat out work on other interviews. Art provides a little more insight on his life outside of Roe, then treats us to a fan favorite recipe. Oh, and their dining space is on track to be restaurant ready for holiday parties.
Read our interview with Arthur Gonzalez of Roe Restaurant & Fish Market, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . . .
Last song playing on your radio/smart phone/iPod:
Easy Skankin by Bob Marley
You were a firefighter previously. Tell us about that life and how the career change occurred.
I started as a PCF, a Paid Call Firefighter– that's where I figured out I had a knack for cooking (rookie in the kitchen). At 26, after hurting my back on duty, I tried a few different sales jobs, but ultimately, I had the urge to cook.
Hardest lesson you've learned.
What's your favorite childhood memory:
Being up in Crest Line at my Grandpa's cabin with my mom and sister. I love the outdoors. We would spend the whole summer there. Every morning I would have to do my chores: chop wood and feed the chipmunks. And then I could go and do whatever I want.
What were you up to five years ago?
Moving back from Santa Fe, working at McKenna's on the Bay.
How did you meet Vanessa Auclair (general manager) and Paul Nikolau (business partner)?
I met Vanessa while trying a new chapter in my life in Santa Fe. I worked at her favorite restaurant when she snagged me. Paul is the owner of the property and now my partner. He is the one who gave me to opportunity to fulfill my dream of opening a restaurant.
Last book you read; how was it?
Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis— funny, sad, motivational.
Last thing you looked up/searched online:
Los Angeles Boxer Rescue. I want another one.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
I'd be (rock star). Something a little Sublime-ish. I used to carry their equipment into shows. Eric, the bass player, came by the first few days we were open and was checking it out. I went up to him and said, “You don't know who I am, but I know who you are. You're one of my favorite bands. I carried your equipment probably 15 years ago, and I'd be honored to have you sit down.” And he said, “Right on.”
In a small way, I think music and food go hand in hand. I've always worked in open kitchens. It's kind of like a stage. At the end of the night, when people talk about how great you cooked that night, it's kind of like applause.
“People love our ceviche. It's simple, it's summery. Everyone always asks us what we use, and it's grapefruit juice.”
Yields 8 Tostadas
2/3 cup lime juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup grapefruit juice
1 bunch cilantro
1 small red onion
2 lbs firm white fish (tilapia or snapper)
Cut fish into 1/4″ cubes, place in glass bowl. Pour citrus juice on top and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
While that is marinating, chop onion, tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro (smaller than fish cubes).
Heat canola oil in pan and place corn tortillas in hot oil. Fry until crispy.
To assemble: Mix marinated fish with veggies, place on top of tostada shell and garnish with avocado.
If you're looking for a recommendation, try the specialty chowder (sans potato) with green chile flavors. It's a meal in itself.