A newcomer to Mar Vista, Status Kuo is a rotisserie-based concept neighborhood restaurant helmed by Chef/Owner David Kuo, who has worked in the kitchens of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Charlie Palmer. The menu is best described as classic American, albeit with a decidedly Asian touch. Despite the apparently abundant meat-heavy offerings, Status Kuo offers many vegetarian versions of its dishes.
Parking: Basically street-parking (mostly metered).
Space/Decor/Vibe: Open kitchen/rotisserie, well-lit, clean lines, 20 or so seats, high ceilings. Noise level: Medium (conversation possible, but sometimes the overhead music can be a tad distracting). Customers are (no surprise) mostly locals, some couples, and some with small kids and elder parents in tow.
Wine/Beer: No liquor license yet.
Service: Our server was very enthusiastic, but a bit absent-minded. Chef Kuo himself is very affable and is engaging with customers. Note: A voluntary 3% health insurance surcharge applies to all checks at Status Kuo (for those of you wishing to know).
Highlights (portions are large):
- Rotisserie Chicken ($17): One of the best roast chickens I've had in L.A. It's one of these super-convenient takeout comfort dishes for when you don't feel like cooking at home. The skin is well-seasoned, delicious, and the meat is juicy. And the chicken comes with an out-of-this world pesto dipping sauce which complements it perfectly.
- Rotisserie Pork ($24): Gorgeous in its richness and moistness. I'd put this stuff in a sandwich, in my ramen, or just eat it with some rice.
- Taiwanese Sunday Gravy ($18): This is one of the most interesting pasta dishes in L.A. right now, in my opinion. Braised pork Taiwanese style, pickled mustard greens, with a very "Q", thick curly pasta (reminds me of the "mien ge da" or Chinese orecchiete which my Grandma would make in the wintertime), all redolent of the pork au jus - It all comes together for a wonderful bite.
- Brussel Sprouts ($6): Made with a touch of goji berries and Taiwanese sweet sausage slices (instead of the usual bacon), I had second helpings on this. My second order may have had a bit too many goji berries, though (but not a major misstep in my book).
- Yuzu Garlic Bread ($6): A subtle hint of yuzu is detectable in these perfectly toasted slices of ciabatta bread, and yet I cannot stop taking bite after bite of this wonderful stuff.
- And for dessert, try the Hand Pie ($7): We took this dessert "to-go". A deep-fried apple turnover, but seasoned for a bit of a savory flavor twist. Interesting.
Verdict: Welcome to Mar Vista! Food-wise, Status Kuo knows its audience and hits it out of the park.
3809 Grand View Bl.
L.A., CA 90066