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Pop-Up Debuts Friday At Eagle Rock's Fatty's

'Charlie Puffer at Fatty's' is a new vegetarian pop-up from Charlie Puffer and four-star Chicago chef Jonathan Harootunian.

Veggie-loving Angelenos who mourned the end-of-the-year closing of , one of a handful of Southland establishments serving high-end vegetarian/vegan fare, will be interested to learn that the restaurant will re-open its doors for dinner Friday, August 12—as a “pop-up."

“Charlie Puffer at Fatty’s"--the brainchild of Charlie Puffer, a former wine merchant at Topline Wine & Spirits in Glendale--will be opening in the Fatty’s & Co. restaurant space in Eagle Rock.

(For those who aren’t up to speed with the gastronomic pop-up phenomenon, a pop-up is an eatery that operates temporarily in another restaurant space.)

As Fatty’s was before it temporarily shut down last December while its co-owners Kim Dingle and Chef Aude Charles went on a “creative hiatus,” Charlie Puffer at Fatty’s will also serve vegetarian fare. But, as was true of Fatty’s, don’t be fooled by the word “vegetarian”—the new pop-up will serve what its creator calls “casual, comfort food” that will come with “options and pricing that reflect a fine dining experience.”

Dingle and Charles still own Fatty’s & Co. but are working on other, non-restaurant-related projects and will not be involved at all with the new eatery.

A Chicago Chef in the Kitchen

Puffer’s friend Jonathan Harootunian, formerly of the Chicago-area restaurant Courtright's, will helm the kitchen at Charlie Puffer at Fatty’s.

Courtright's, which serves American-contemporary cuisine, achieved a four-star rating and numerous awards in the five years that Harootunian was in charge. The chef’s online resume indicates more fame for venison than vegetables, but Puffer and Dingle have both confirmed the pop-up’s commitment to Fatty & Co.’s plant-based ethos, which means keeping the kitchen vegetarian and kosher.

Tasting Menu Planned For Preview Weekend

Throughout the Friday-through-Sunday preview weekend, the pop-up will feature a five-course tasting menu, which Puffer describes as “excellent vegetarian cuisine” for $40—with accompanying wine flights for $20. 

Puffer notes that the tasting menu includes several options for each course and that menu items will also be available a la carte. As for liquid refreshment, Puffer says there will be a “great selection [of wines] by the glass and bottle, at very friendly prices” as well as beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

Puffer also notes that “the pricing for the tasting menu will reflect the approximate pricing for menu items in the future. Salads and starters will probably be $6-$10, entrees $12-$20, more or less.” Puffer adds that his new venture will have “more menu options when we open full time.” 

Harootunian will not be cooking from Fatty & Co.’s menu, says Puffer, who hopes, along with his chef, that “to integrate pizza and fondue into the menu” in coming weeks.

Both items were signature offerings from Fatty’s Chef Charles. “People needing a Fatty's fix will not immediately see their old favorites,” says Puffer. But he says he is “very confident that our menu will be pleasing to a wide variety of people and palates.”

Reservation-Only “Set Seatings” For Soft Opening Weekend

For the soft-opening weekend only, Charlie Puffer at Fatty’s is offering three, reservation-only seatings at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. “This is [the kitchen staff’s] first time working together,” explains Puffer, ”and I'd like to give them time to get used to the space and each other.” He adds: “If people make reservations it makes it’s better for diners and staff alike.”

Puffer confirmed that he still has a few spaces available on each night. “I'm really excited to be moving ahead with this project, quickly as it is going, and am confident we'll put a superior product on the table,” he promises.

Reservations for the ”Charlie Puffer at Fatty’s” pop-up can be made at the Fatty & Co.’s phone number at (323) 254-8804.

Charlie Puffer August 13, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Hi, all. The tasting menu price was bumped up to $44. More info on the Pop-Up, including full menu, at http://charliepuffer.posterous.com
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson August 13, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Thanks for the update, Charlie, and congrats on a successful opening night! Eagle Rockers, keep an eye on Patch today to hear about some of Mr. Puffer and Chef Harootunian's vegetarian delights.

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