Some vegans panicked when news of Cru's temporary closure hit the blogosphere, but fans of the restaurant can calm their fears. Cru is reopening today with a new chef, Vincent Krimmel, who says Cru devotees can expect the same local, organic, vegan, and raw-friendly cuisine -- with more farm-fresh ingredients and more rock and roll.
"It's going to be a rock and roll and culinary experience," says Krimmel, who describes his dishes as more seasonally focused with a European inflection -- although a wide variety of culinary traditions will still be represented on the menu. A fan of the Silver Lake and Echo Park Farmers Markets, Krimmel says the new Cru will have a blackboard listing detailed farm-to-fork information that lets diners know exactly where their food comes from.
Diners can expect a brighter, slightly more upscale environment, an expanded drink menu, and rock and roll music all day long. About half of Cru's all-vegan menu is made up of cooked dishes, but Krimmel shares a refreshing, in-season raw recipe below for the raw-gans and the raw-curious who crave sushi:
Raw Nori Hand Roll with Teriyaki Coconut Fillet
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup daikon radish
Salt and pepper
For the "rice," soak the cashews in water for an hour, then feed them through the shredding attachment of the food processor. Feed the radish through the shredding attachment too. Combine the cashews and daikon radish with salt and pepper to taste.
For the teriyaki coconut fillet, take the meat from one coconut. Cut meat into one inch strips on the bias. Coat liberally with sauce*, then dehydrate the meat at a slow temperature for up to 6 hours.
Shave watermelon radish paper thin on a mandolin.
Take a half sheet of nori cut into a triangle, and roll the "rice," teriyaki coconut fillet, shaved watermelon radish, pea shoots, and sprouts inside.
For the wasabi aioli, combine a desired amount of wasabi, pureed coconut, garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Serve on the side with grated raw ginger.
* The recipe for Cru's unique teriyaki sauce is a secret, but Krimmel says simple sauces are easy to make at home. To mimic a white fish, he suggests a liberal coating of oil, salt, and pepper. For a more eel-like flavor, try a combination of sesame oil and tamari.
The photo on this post is by Flickr user chuckyla. It was used under permission of the photographer (thank you!)