SharksTeeth Los Angeles: SharksTeeth is a weekly popup restaurant in Los Angeles. It has gain a large following through its exclusiveness.
I attended one week’s popup in Silver Lake/East Hollywood in an unassuming house on the street. In other words, they’re there then gone like a ninja. It was in a not-so-great neighborhood but once you enter your presumptions quickly change. The home has a large 20 seat dining table and the other half is the kitchen. Once you enter, you see a kitchen crew of 7 hipsters with beards and 80/90s bands t-shirts.
Chef Craig Thornton is in a Joy Division T-shirt making his rounds as the dishes are served and explaining his creations. I’ve dined at some of the best restaurants in the world and I say that without sounding pretentious. Now, this isn’t a Michelin or World’s 50 Best experience where it’s all about you and your dining partner. It’s more of a community experience where you talk to the person next or in front of you cause you’re sitting at a communal table. It’s a laid back, fun and talk to people type of deal versus looking at your phone and look at how wonderful my life is on social media type of deal.
The SharksTeeth’s dining experience makes you talk to people and get everyone’s view-point on the dishes. It’s definitely a good change from all the KBBQ, taco trucks, sushi, and Chinese food. Our end of the table had a good time discussing our favorite restaurants and we all had different view points on food. There was an older couple two seats down from me who have traveled the world and dined at some of the best restaurants. There was someone across from me who was from Orange County and thought Playground 2.0 was the best restaurant. There were two women from West LA next to me who could not stop talking about how they loved Japanese food. I think they thought I was Japanese.
Anyway, it’s a 6 course dining experience with every dish having very familiar and comforting flavors. There wasn’t any Japanese Kobe beef, A5 Japanese Wagyu, Foie Gras or any of your typical high-end ingredients. The menu’s theme was focus around seafood and my two favorite courses are as follows:
- Lobster – Squid ink, mascarpone, raviolo, ribeye bolognese, lobster beck, gremolata, haricot vert and herb oil. There was layers to this dish. The first layer was the raviolo topped with the squid ink and haricot vert (i.e., green beans) then the mascarpone then the ground ribeye. It’s pretty much a fancy grandma’s lasagna where she stuffs a few healthy stuff in there so you could eat. To summarize this dish, it was layered like lasagna but tasted like a ravioli. SharksTeeth Los Angeles
- Corn + Crab – This dish contained zucchini, country bread, basil ricotta, apricot, and scallion oil. The crab was wrapped in the zucchini topped with country bread and ricotta then laid in a corn purée sort of soup. It had a lot going on with it. The crab resembled a tuna salad and went pretty well with the corn purée. It was a very comforting dish where I could eat everyday. SharksTeeth Los Angeles
The thing is SharksTeeth’s food is definitely not on the same level as French Laundry, Per Se, Narisawa, Eleven Madison Park, Saison, Noma or any of the top regarded restaurants. However, it’s not supposed to be and it doesn’t come with the same price tag. It’s a fun experience. I thought there was too much going on with every dish. It’s hard to knock them because LA is a city with quality cheap eats like Hong Kong. However, it would have been better to see each dish focus on certain ingredients versus throwing it into a bucket then mixing it.
I would recommend SharksTeeth if you’re looking for some comforting flavors with an overall fun experience. I would definitely recommend it if you want to get out of your comfort zone and meet random people at dinner versus looking at your phone. The whole crew was very nice and down-to-earth. However, I think they are very far from being considered one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles.
- Service - 6/106/10
- Presentation - 6/106/10
- Flavors - 5/105/10
- Decor - 5/105/10
- Ambiance - 7/107/10
If you’re looking for some comforting flavors with an overall fun experience, SharksTeeth would be it. I would definitely recommend it if you want to get out of your comfort zone and meet random people at dinner versus looking at your phone. However, it’s not a Michelin level restaurant with its dishes, services and experience.