Fresh from opening a Las Vegas steakhouse, Gordon Ramsay last week opened The Fat Cow in Los Angeles, a “neighborhood gathering place” that marks a more casual shift for the televisionknown for his high-end restaurants around the world.
Ramsay is known in the U.S. for his television shows, such as “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Master Chef,” and he splits his time between Los Angeles and London. But most of the 25 restaurants operated by his Gordon Ramsay Holdings are in the United Kingdom.
In 2008, Ramsay opened restaurants in Los Angeles and New York that were later turned over to the hotels in which they were located. Earlier this year, however, Ramsay began another attack on the U.S. restaurant scene with the opening of Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris Las Vegas resort and casino.
In addition, by early 2013, Ramsay is scheduled to open Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
The Fat Cow is located in Los Angeles’ The Grove lifestyle center, a busy shopping mall adjacent to the city’s historic Farmer’s Market. The 200-seat restaurant is tucked next to a movie theater, where it offers seasonal comfort foods in a rustic, old-timey Route 66-inspired setting.
Coming soon is the addition of Moo Bar at the restaurant’s entrance, serving soft-serve ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, and a grab-and-go selection of baked goods.
The Fat Cow will be helmed by chef Mathew Woolf, former executive chef of the West Restaurant and Lounge in Los Angeles.
Ramsay spoke with Nation’s Restaurant News about the new concept.
Los Angeles is full of restaurants with elevated comfort foods these days. How will The Fat Cow stand out?
We’re really excited to bring this concept to life, a neighborhood gathering spot right in the middle of The Grove. The menu’s a classic-yet-modern approach with delicious, seasonal, home-inspired comfort food using seasonal ingredients and fresh produce from the adjacent Farmer’s Market and other local farmer’s and purveyors.
What are some signature dishes on the menu?
The menu truly is diverse, and there’s something for everyone any night of the week: lobster mac & cheese; the short rib-and-Kobe beef Fat Cow burger; pepper-crusted wood-roasted long ribs; wood-burning-oven pizzas like the vodka, tomato, mozzarella pizza and spicy sausage, burrata, fennel pizza. Also fresh salads: a Tuscan kale “Skinny Cow” chopped salad; the tuna Niçoise salad.
Is Fat Cow being developed as a concept that might be multiplied?
Right now our goal is to make sure we’re getting it right at The Grove.
Why place the Moo Bar at the entrance, with grab-and-go to come, rather than enticing guests into the restaurant?
Our location at The Grove makes the Moo Bar an ideal place for people to literally run in and buy a quick treat on the go while they are shopping if they don’t have time to sit down for a meal.
Will the ice cream be made in house, or are you using a partner brand?
Once the Moo Bar is open, we’ll offer a variety including great housemade ice-cream sandwiches, ever-changing artisanal frozen yogurts, and milkshakes.
You’re known for very high-end restaurants around the world. It seems the focus now is on more casual concepts. Is this a shift in position?
Internationally, I do have casual-dining restaurants as well, but yes, in the U.S. that’s true. It’s something I’ve really wanted to explore in the U.S., and when The Grove opportunity presented itself, I knew it was the right time.
Years ago, there were rumors of soccer star David Beckham investing in a restaurant with you here in Los Angeles. Is he involved with this or others?
David and I are great friends, but no, he is not involved with The Fat Cow or any of my restaurants opening in the U.S.