We just announced the name of Mark’s new eatery: Bombo! This will be his first ever fast casual concept after a lifetime of winning praise and awards in the fine dining realm. After Campanile closed.. or as Rex calls it, “your cooking job”, we talked at length about what he wanted to do and how it needed to work with our life as a family. Our dearly departed Tar Pit was a cocktail driven place so the hours were terrible for a family with young kids.
We also felt strongly that fine dining while not completely over was played out. In post recession America even if you have money most don’t want to flaunt it.. at least not in a restaurant. Even if people in LA still spend $100 on dinner they want it to be in a relaxed environment while they were jeans. A few strong fine dining places can withstand this Age of Casual, but not a lot. They’ve been dropping like flies.
Plus it was played out for Mark. He wants to cook. He likes cooking for people, not necessarily rich people or having the artifice and overhead that goes with a ‘fancy’ place. So in my capacity as his business development manager I started thinking locations. Areas of town, and then where within those areas. Eventually our search landed at Grand Central Market in downtown LA. Built in 1917 it’s been getting a lot of press lately as they revamp it. It combines many elements of LA’s culture. Latin, Asian and now celebrity chef driven. Bombo is going to emphasize seafood, but not just seafood. There aren’t many places in LA that you can get reasonably priced seafood outside of a sushi joint in a mini mall. Mark was keen to work with steel jacketed steam kettles.
They are pretty and will be prominent in our design. They will allow him to cook things quickly using his 4 broths as his base. Cut to a montage of financing, design, approval for permits, negotiations and now we arrive at the moment where we have announced the name. It’s inspired by the kettles as Bombo is Spanish for bass drum, as well as used loosely to indicate a kind of musical energy, excitement. Also, we liked how it sounded.
So I’ve been setting up pop up nights for Mark where he can try out his new dishes on real people, not just me in our kitchen. It’s great for focusing him and I like it because a couple of times there was a critique I wanted in a dish, and the public backed me up. Hurumph. But, really he is making some tasty dishes, reasonably priced, but still flavor packed like his food at Campanile was. Tonight he starts a trio of Tuesday nights at our neighborhood favorite, Rascal. If you are in the area come by.
After a couple of under eventful work years both of our projects are debuting roughly around the same time. If “Daphne Dishes” gets a second season maybe I can make something at Bombo for the show. It’s been a great partnership, we both assist and advise each other. Almost ten years of marriage and it all seems to be working well. (knock wood)