Del Rey Supper Club
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When I covered the Plate by Plate event last year for Eater LA, one of the news items I broke was that Del Rey Deli Co., the popular sandwich shop in Playa Del Rey, was starting a Saturday night supper club aptly named the Del Rey Supper Club. Once a month, chef Vince Howard and partners Tim Edwards and Corrina Murdy host a 5-course dinner party, with drink pairings, for $90. Fast forward a year, and the supper club is going strong, selling out pretty much every month.
Last month, I attended an invite-only extended edition of the supper club featuring a 10-course menu. I guess chef Howard likes to challenge himself sometimes, to our benefit!
The supper started strong with a pair of cold dishes. The first course, Crostini, featuring some great house-cured salumi: bresaola, lomo, pancetta. Next was Shrimp, Sunchoke, which ended up being one of my favorite courses of the night. The shrimp, barely cooked, was sweet and plump, and the sunchoke purée was rich, nutty, and delicious.
We moved on to a pair of hot dishes, first with the Lamb Belly, Peaches course, followed by the Oxtail Broth, Rye course. The lamb was very tender and flavorful, and not too grassy. The peach lightened the dish a bit. The bone broth was so clean and mellow, I could have mistaken it for a vegetable broth, but it was very comforting to sip. (Del Rey Deli Co. has also started a side project, Broth Authority, selling bone broth at the Playa Vista Farmers’ Market.)
We pivoted back to a cold dish with the Yellowfin Tuna Poke. A more classic take on the raw fish dish, the sauce was a little too sweet for my taste. Chef Howard also brought out slices of house-cured duck prosciutto for us to try.
We started wrapping up the savory courses with a pair of classic proteins, chicken and beef. The Jidori Chicken, Leeks had a very tender piece of sous-vide chicken breast, topped with a leek “fondue” that was rather good. The Beef Short Rib Terrine, Spicy Mustard had a very light and interesting texture, the terrine seemingly held by force rather than binded (bound?) by fat or gelatin. The mustard seeds had a great pop to them from being soaked in red wine vinegar.
Last of the savory courses, but certainly not least, the Spiced Pork Tender, Cashew Curry Cream was the highlight of the night for me! Prepared sous-vide, the tender was as soft and, dare I say, as tender as filet mignon. The sauce gave it a South Asian flare. I was really impressed with this dish!
I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, and anything, sweet or savory, would be in a hard spot having to follow that pork loin, but I did enjoy both of the desserts chef Howard served. The Black Berry, Dark Chocolate was a mini-chocolate cake swimming in berry sauce, and came across to me like a cross between a molten cake and a flourless chocolate cake. The simply named Almond, Burrata was an almond cake topped with a dollop of burrata ice cream, and drizzled with condensed milk. It reminded me of tres leches cake and was a great way to end our meal.
I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from my first Del Rey Supper Club. I didn’t know chef Howard’s background, but after tasting these dishes, I was not at all surprised to find out he had come out of Tar & Roses. I’m so glad the chef has a creative outlet in these supper club dinners, though of course even in his “day job” at the deli, his skills are not wasted.
(As mentioned above, the suppers include beverage pairings, and I enjoyed some great beer and wine that paired fairly well with the courses. But I’m not a big drinker, and certainly not a connoisseur, so I did not note what I was drinking. Apologies for not having that information for this meal.)
The next supper club date is August 15th, however that night is already booked up. The following one is on September 12th. Seeing as dates usually sell out, if you’re interested, please make sure to call during the deli’s business hours (11a-4p on weekdays, 9a-4p on weekends) to secure a spot. Chef Howard said he may also try to do a vegetarian supper club night in September, so keep an eye on their Facebook page or Instagram feed for up-to-date information.
Apologies for the quality of the images. The dining area lighting was quite dim.
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Del Rey Supper Club
@ Del Rey Deli Co.
8501 Pershing Dr, Ste 3
Los Angeles, CA 90293