Test Kitchen LA for JOEY Woodland Hills

JOEY Chef Chris Mills calls dinner guests “guinea pigs” for new cuisine.

It’s not the first time that Vancouver, B.C. Chef Chris Mills, executive chef of soon-to-open JOEY restaurant at the new Village at Westfield Topanga, has enjoyed the honor of being guest chef at New York’s prestigious James Beard House. He’s returning for the third visit on Saturday.

But this time around, Chef Chris tried out his menu at a Los Angeles press dinner—where the meal served not only as a test drive for the big event in New York but a preview of the “Wild West Coast” cuisine we’ll find on the menu at JOEY Woodland Hills, the first California restaurant to join the JOEY restaurant group, with 28 locations in Washington and Canada.

Carondelet House dining room

Last Tuesday at LA’s elegant 1928 Carondelet House (a former private residence now used for weddings and other special events), Chef Chris and his team presented delightfully complex dishes and cocktails inspired by California and Tofino, B.C. Included: Tofino spot prawns with artichoke ravioli and mint butter lettuce sauce; Monterey Bay octopus “a la plancha” with fennel, dried olives, octopus bacon and smoked mayonnaise; and Snake Rivers Farms Wagu ribeye with chanterelle mushrooms and Humboldt Fog blue potato gratin.

Heirloom Beet Salad

JOEY Woodland Hills will not limit itself to West Coast dishes, offering a broad range of casual American cuisine including signature burgers and fun nibblers such as Baja fish tacos and sushi cones.

Why Woodland Hills, The Sauce asked? Chris says that JOEY has a relationship with the owners of the new open-air mall but calls it “an amazing area for us to get a foothold into LA. It’s becoming a bit of a hub.”

Octopus on the grill

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