METEORA

May 11, 2024

meteoria, restaurant, los angeles, hollywood authentic

Photographs by ADAHLIA COLE & COLIN PECK
Words by ABBIE CORNISH


Jordan Kahn’s Meteora is nothing short of spectacular. There’s a reason why Kahn has two Michelin stars at such a young age, and Meteora is just one of them. Hailed by the late Jonathan Gold, the legendary LA Times food critic, Kahn is not a stop short of perfection. There is no real foodie, wine connoisseur, critic, ratings person, dog, cat, or alien that wouldn’t have a good time here. Leave it at the door, and relax into one of the best dining experiences you’ll have right now in Los Angeles.

First, about the space… 6703 Melrose Avenue has a past. And yep, I was around for it. I’ve lived in this neighbourhood for nearly 19 years. I’ve watched it change and grow, and I’ve had eyes on that address – both as a restaurant lover and a real estate junkie. Here’s the download. After the long-standing and popular Hatfields moved on, 6703 Melrose was never fully reinvented or realised – that is, until Kahn came along. In collaboration with Roth Architecture and OV&CO, the space was transformed. Meteora is warm, open, beautifully lit, botanical, comfortable, otherwordly yet earthly; most certainly unique. Kahn, along with his collaborators, has crafted an exceptional dining experience. He has a way of doing that. Kahn himself has described it as: ‘Looking to our ancient past as inspiration for our future. Primal live-fire cooking, ingredients of rich bio-diversity and creativity define our New California cuisine.’ 

meteoria, restaurant, los angeles, hollywood authentic

So get ready to nestle in. Whether you are with your bestie, your significant other, family or friends, you will be taken care of in every way by the kind-spirited staff, an exceptional kitchen, a one-of-a -kind director of service, Cody Nason, a knowledgeable and smooth sommelier, James Saidy, and by Khan himself.

At 16, Jordan Khan left Savannah for Charleston, wrote a nine-page letter to French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, and kickstarted his somewhat destined journey to Meteora. Kahn earned his stars at his progressive and interstellar restaurant, Verspertine, located in Culver City. I’ve been there a few times and it is something else. Talk about levels: Vespertine is all the way up. It temporarily paused in-house dining in 2020 but – so a little birdy told me – it may (off books) reopen later this year. But there is no doubt that Kahn’s style, work ethic, attention to detail, love of the craft, open mind and humble genius all fuelled his swift rise to the top. Gratitude and good energy emanates from him, his co-workers, the food and beverages themselves, and from the entire restaurant.

Let’s talk about the food. My bestie Jacqueline King Schiller and I went all out on the chef omakase menu… and added wine pairings. Gotta say, I was impressed. How do I even explain it? Perhaps I’ll let Kahn do so instead… ‘Our cuisine is centred around live-fire cooking. Guests can expect elemental and inventive compositions that highlight sustainably sourced wild and organic vegetables, grains, seafood  and meats.’

meteoria, restaurant, los angeles, hollywood authentic

This live-fire cooking transforms ingredients, especially produce, in unexpected ways: charred pineapple takes on a meaty flavour and texture, adding hits of smoke and acid to delicate slivers of scallops neatly arranged in their shells. Burnt yam, caramelised yet savoury, balances plump rounds of briny trout roe paired with hazelnuts. And one of the most unique dishes is a creamy smoked almond mousse, light as a feather – and wonderfully complex when served with luscious chunks of embered persimmon and crunchy grilled peanuts.

‘We work directly with farmers, fisherman, ranchers, and foragers to create hyper-seasonal menus of exceptional quality with a commitment to sustainability and environmental impact,’ say the show notes. This pays off in not only the quality of the ingredients, but the menu as a whole. This is a dining experience filled with flavour pairings that are creative yet cohesive; deeply evocative of the place and the season. Take something as simple as the fourth dish, avocado and caviar, for example. Only two ingredients, and yet so much more. The avocado, drizzled with pressed oil from the seed, imparted with the subtle flavour of the leaves, cradles a large spoon-full of top-notch caviar. Yummy. What surprised me about this is not only the dish itself, but the story behind it (another reason why I love Jordan Kahn, and I love Meteora). Check this: the avocado was farmed by a local osteopath who farms avocados on his land as a hobby. Wait. I just ate one of the best things in my life, made from only two ingredients, one of which was farmed by an osteopath?

meteoria, restaurant, los angeles, hollywood authentic

Jordan Kahn loves a journey. A transformative space. Almost like a retreat or a teleportation. If energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only transform from one form to another, then Kahn has found a way to transform it all into awesomeness. Moving on – because I could go on – this is truly an experience that I hope you will have someday soon. 

Dinner is Wednesday to Sunday night. The bar is walk-ins or reservations. A la carte at the bar and surrounding nooks. One of the most underused bars in LA in my opinion! Beverages are extensive: cocktails are amazing, the non-alcoholic drinks are delightful and the wine list is impeccable. Peace. Til the next review… 


Photographs by ADAHLIA COLE & COLIN PECK
Words by ABBIE CORNISH

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