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Exclusive Peek: Son Of A Gun Restaurant

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 03/07/11 07:57 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

Despite being midway through Son of a Gun's hectic launch week, chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo granted the Huffington Post exclusive access to their kitchen during dinner on Thursday evening. That night, chef Nancy Silverton of Osteria Mozza, Adam Fleischman of Umami Burger and chef Joan McNamara of Joan's On Third all had tables -- and that was just the early evening shift.

This roster of some of the city's most beloved chefs and restaurateurs speaks volumes about how Los Angeles has embraced the dudely duo, who first came on the restaurant scene about three years ago when they opened Animal.

The pair said they've been slammed with reservations, press requests and calls congratulating them on their second restaurant launch -- a seafood-focused joint with a nautical theme. Shook monitors the Animal kitchen via iPhone when he's at Son of a Gun, and the two have been busy hiring new staff, perfecting dishes, and putting the final touches on their charming new space. On their first week, both agreed: "We need more help and more storage!"

Shook and Dotolo looked both tired and happy as they prepped for dinner service. While Shook was in the kitchen preparing the mise en place, Dotolo explained the night's special to the service crew during staff dinner (french fries and baked albacore tuna). The dish of abstractly plated smoked steelhead roe, maple cream and pumpernickel toast was on the communal table for everyone to try, and he warned, "Don't force this on anyone! If somebody wants to eat a lobster roll, let 'em eat a lobster roll."

In the kitchen, Shook munched on (what else?) swedish fish candy as he counted lobster portions and the fresh oyster supply. He talked about having to work as both a server and a cook for the first few days when the restaurant was understaffed but admitted "It's a great thing to walk out there and see that people get what you're doing." He then peeked out the kitchen door and grinned: "There's already a line forming!"

Son of a Gun
8370 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9033

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  • Chef Jon Shook and Cook Evan Leutwiler

    Shook puts hoisin sauce on the shrimp toast sandwich. Cook Evan Leutwiler is in the background.

  • Cook Miles Thompson and Chef Vinny Dotolo

    Cook Miles Thompson (foreground) and Chef Vinny Dotolo work together on the Flourless Chocolate Cake. Thompson caramelizes the banana slice while Dotolo plates the cake, peanuts, and coconut ice cream.

  • Plating the special of the day: smoked steelhead roe, maple cream, and pumpernickel.

  • Special of the day.

  • Lettuces, Creamy Herb Dressing, Red Onion, Croutons, and Pepato.

  • Smoked Mahi Fish Dip with Celery, Radish, and Crackers.

  • Peel and Eat Shrimp Boil with Lime Mustard Sauce.

  • Linguine and Clams, Uni Aglio-Olio, and Breadcrumbs.

  • Idaho Trout, Carrot, Potato, Caper Dill Butter.

  • Mussels, Tarragon, Pernod, Fennel, Toast.

  • Benton's Country Ham, Honey Butter, and Corn Bread.

  • Squid Salad, Garbanzo, Mirepoix, and Radicchio.

  • King Crab Leg and Tabasco Butter.

  • Flourless Chocolate Cake, Banana, Peanut, and Coconut Ice Cream.

  • Frozen Lime Yogurt, Graham Crumble, and Toasted Meringue.

  • "Hoboken Special" --Chocolate Ice Cream served with Pineapple Fanta.