David Lefevre, MB Post
I left my post as the director of dineLA on March 11, 2011. I remember the date not so much because it left a mark on me, but because it was my sister’s birthday. The last three months have been a wonderful, fuzzy blur of clients, building websites, tackling passion projects and remembering what it’s like to take time for myself—like with my coffee and journal in the morning, even if it is already 8am.
Interviewing David Lefevre recently while we shot his beautiful new MB Post, I was struck by how palpably he wore his recent transition in his countenance, by how seemingly humbled he was to have stepped into a life that he’d dreamt about for a long time. I can relate.
New restaurants seem to open every 10 minutes. For a very long time I was keeping up with most of them, opening the menu in unison with a roomful of 60 others hoping to be surprised. Generally what we found was numbingly similar to the last new opening. (I won’t recite the prerequisite list of menu items and small plates here…surely you have them memorized.) But David’s done something different. He’s having fun.
What’s that? Come again?
Yes, he’s being irreverent and cheeky and whimsical and a little bit brazen. He’s given vegetables their due; he’s taken his mom’s favorites and made them better; and he’s cooking for himself in a way that makes us want to invite ourselves over to his place for a Sunday evening. (We’d bring the wine.) But he’s not just cooking for himself, he’s actually cooking exactly what we want—we just didn’t know it until we saw it.
Beluga lentil, shrimp and chorizo soup with yogurt, red onion and cilantro. Blistering green beans with Thai basil, chili sauce and crispy pork. Or the Albondigas! (his exclamation mark) with garnet yam puree, shishito and maple-miso glaze hastily scribbled into the margin of the menu printed earlier in the day.
You’d think the amped up list of elements would create overbearing mouthfuls, but, like his beautiful pomegranate cous cous with lavender feta, marcona almonds and mint (plus a perfect brunoise of cucumber and fragrant fresh melon), they remind us how exciting it is to taste something new. I could get used to that.
MB Post, 1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, 310.545.5405 http://eatmbpost.com/
Chef David plating the cous cous
Pomegranate cous cous with lavendar feta, marcona almonds and mint
Vietnamese caramel pork jowl with green papaya
DP Romoff in action
Blistering green beans with Thai basil, chili sauce and crispy pork
Nicely done, chef.