Kerry Simon grew up wanting to be a rock star, and that he is, though not by standard definition. A summer job at Little Caesars Pizza, which was taken on to save up for an electric guitar, was the catalyst that led to Simon’s realization of his passion for food. Now, he is a well-known chef with traces in almost every major city around the country and beyond. Simon has opened restaurants in Miami, Las Vegas, New York, Hong Kong, London, Chicago, and Los Angeles. It also doesn’t hurt that he won the title of Iron Chef America, and was dubbed “the rock-n-roll chef” by Rolling Stone magazine.
After spending time abroad for various jobs and an apprenticeship, Simon has honed in on a different approach to modern American cuisine, which helps set him apart from others in the industry.
His Los Angeles restaurant, SIMON LA, is one of Hollywood’s hautest dining destinations. Simon’s most recent openings is Simon at Palms Place.
Where were you born ?
How long in Los angeles:
Four years, since 2006
I’ll never tell.
Best Ethnic Food:
Jitlada Thai Restaurant
Best place for late night dining:
BLD, though they aren’t open that late.
SimonLA, of course, and the grasshopper pie or devil’s food cake at LA Market. There’s also a great pumpkin pie at Urth Caffé.
Best place for a romantic date:
The Little Door Restaurant
Best Sunday brunch:
Simon at Palms Place in Las Vegas—worth the weekend trip.
Anything by Rande Gerber is good. I tend to hang out at Stone Rose Lounge next door.
Best place for a power business meeting:
All-around favorite spot in Los angeles:
Downtown during the day is a new kind of revolution that I really like being a part of. At night, it’s vibrant but still a little edgy.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
Hmm, what do you think? The JW Marriott or The Ritz-Carlton Downtown?
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
Best place to buy Jewelry/Watches:
Le Spa at Sofitel is pretty nice. I haven’t been to The Ritz-Carlton spa yet, but I hear it’s amazing.
Favorite Charity Event:
Every charity is a good charity. I try to participate in everything I can. There’s never enough done.
Favorite Cultural Event:
Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk
Favorite Cultural Institution:
LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
Best Aspect of Los angeles:
The diversity of people and cultures, and how it manifests itself into food, art, and music.
Real Food Daily
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
I always use The Sofitel’s gym when I’m in town.
Best Limousine/Driving Service:
A yellow taxi. Prius taxi services are great, too.
I saw a Julian Schnabel exhibit at The Gagosian Gallery that I loved. Mark Seliger is great, too.
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
The ocean! Especially after this oil spill, it might be legendary.