LA’s The Place recently checked out Zinc, a fine dining farm-to-table restaurant at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. Zinc is a very cool concept of restaurant meets sleek, beautiful open lounge with a casual, stimulating atmosphere. Pair that with delicious American comfort food and you have a great result – a hotspot that people will keep coming back to again and again. From small bites to cheese plates to gourmet brunch items, your cravings for an elevated epicurean experience will be met at Zinc Restaurant at Shade. Zinc also provides room service, and has a little bit of everything to appease your appetite.
LA’s The Place found their Best Burger in Los Angeles for 2011: Zinc’s Angus Burger.
The chef behind the cuisine is the all-important factor. We spoke with Zinc Executive Chef Greg Hozinsky, who created the fun and delicious menu at Zinc, to find out how he makes magic.
LA’s The Place: When did you join forces with Zinc?
Greg Hozinsky: I started working at Zinc in June of 2008, 3 ½ years ago.
LATP: How long have you been a Chef?
GH: I started cooking professionally when I was 19, so I guess it has been 9 years now.
LATP: What inspired you to be a chef?
GH: Well I’ve loved cooking for as long as I can remember, in fact there are plenty of pictures of me as a child holding an egg beater or playing with a plastic toy kitchen. Ironically my family are not “foodies” at all, in fact I was raised around very basic food- we are talking minute-rice and steamed frozen vegetable basic. I’ve just always loved food and cooking, so when I was old enough as a teenager to start cooking for myself I started playing around with food, I remember one time my mom came home from work and I had home-made fresh pasta drying, hanging off her chandelier.
LATP: What is your background as a chef?
GH: When I first started cooking professionally I was working at Aqua in San Francisco, It was a great place to work and a great place to learn, it teaches you the right way to do things from the start. From there I worked at restaurant Michael Mina in the Westin St. Francis, Valentino in Santa Monica, Playboy Mansion and Foundation Room at the House of Blues. I made my way to the South Bay eventually were I worked as a Sous chef At Avenue (now Darrens) in Manhattan Beach and Chef de Cuisine at Frascati In Rolling Hills Estates.
LATP: Can you explain the basic concept for your menu at Zinc?
GH: At [email protected] we offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, for dinner our menu is based around small plates and tapas. I like to take food that our patrons are comfortable with and making them exciting but not scary. I also feel simple can be better. Living and cooking here in California there is so much great product, when something is in season it is usually wonderful on its own. As a chef I want those great seasonal items to shine by complimenting them with flavors not covering them up.
LATP: Are you sustainable and how?
GH: We definitely use sustainable products here, it is a strong part of our companies culture not only here at [email protected] but other Zislis group restaurant’s as well. I love going to local farmers market and utilizing organic and natural products as much as we can, that goes for meat and seafood as well.
LATP: Does your menu change, and what prompts the changes?
GH: We are always changing our menus, we have a few staples that are always around but our dinner menu and lunch menu change every 3-4 weeks, if not more often sometimes. By shopping farmers markets and using sustainable products you have to change your menus constantly, as food comes in and out of season we use what is available and at its peak of quality and flavor.
LATP: What are your favorite items on the menu that you recommend?
GH: My favorite salad is our chopped salad, we offer it at brunch on the weekends and every day for lunch and dinner. Some of my other current favorites are the Belgian style hand cut fries, sashimi salad, brie and pear grilled cheese, truffle short rib sandwiches and prosciutto pizza, and if you’re an artisan salami and cheese kind of person we have a great charcuterie board.
Read our article on Shade Hotel here…
1221 N. Valley Dr.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266