In this special weekly feature, “Today” Food Editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across the world. See how much money you can save — and fun you can have — by cooking these dishes at home!
This week: Couscous 101, from Luna Park, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California
If you are in Los Angeles or San Francisco and looking for some bohemian-style bistro dining, Luna Park might be for you. These hip restaurants are framed by red brick walls and decorated with modern art and kitschy crystal chandeliers. For an especially romantic evening, make a reservation to dine in one of their private wooden Pullman booths cloaked in muslin curtains. This setting would be perfect for cous cous, the North African dish that is a specialty of the restaurants.
About the chef:
Luna Park co-owner and executive chef Joe Jack is a native of Iowa, but his cooking is more a product of Europe and California than the American Heartland. Following working at San Francisco’s Monsoon, he honed his skills in Umbria, Italy, while cooking at Villa Roncalli and Enoteca Bacco Felice, two highly regarded establishments in Foligno. There Jack developed a keen appreciation for the region’s fresh, robust cuisine, distinctive wines and quality, seasonal ingredients cooked simply, without excessive embellishment—a hallmark of authentic Italian cuisine. When he returned to San Francisco, he continued to refine his Italian cooking as executive chef at Tutto Bene and Tutto Mare, where he met Luna Park co-owner A.J. Gilbert, and polished his traditional American cuisine at Sunny Jim’s and Chow. In 2000, he and Gilbert created San Francisco’s Luna Park. The success of this affordable eatery led him and Gilbert to take their winning concept to Los Angeles.
(Please note that ingredient prices are estimates and based on national averages. Amounts listed are for one portion. Increase proportionately according to number of portions desired.)
Luna Park L.A.
672 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Luna Park S.F.
694 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Want to find out how you can make your favorite restaurant recipe at home? Just send e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com with the name of the restaurant, city and state and the dish you would like to have re-created! Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his website at www.supermarketguru.com.