Most food fanatics and reality TV junkies (like me) will recognize Stefan Richter as the bold, abrasive, proudly European finalist from Top Chef Season 5. Stefan, 37, runs Stefan's Catering and was the previous Excecutive Chef at Celestino Drago. LA Farm was closed for much needed renovations throughout July and will reopen on August 6th as Stefan's new Santa Monica restaurant, Stefan's at LA Farm.
When I received an invite to the pre-opening/open house this past weekend, I leapt at the chance! Stefan is my favorite Top Chef contestant of all time and I truly believed he got robbed of the Top Chef title. To see him making good use of and running with his 15 minutes of fame is incredible.
The new space is amazing -- comfortable yet contemporary, chic yet unpretentious. If the tray-passed appetizers are any indication of what to expect from Stefan's, I cannot wait to try the incredible tapas style small plates that will grace it's menu.
Most notable was the Thai crab bisque. I've never tasted anything more perfect -- velvety smooth and incredibly flavorful. The Kumamoto oysters with absinthe (yes absinthe!) were outstanding -- unbelievably fresh!
On a personal note, Jamie Lauren and Leah Cohen were in the house (also contestants from Top Chef Season 5). I also must say that Stefan is surprisingly friendly and approachable.
Stefan's at LA Farm is located at 3000 West Olympic Blvd in the city of Santa Monica.