Iconic California chef Mark Peel will unveil a fresh and inspired broth-based, fast-casual seafood concept, Prawn, on May 26. Located inside the historic Grand Central Market in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Prawn will showcase a modern and accessible menu of seafood options laden with unique flavor. Hailed as one of the founders of California cuisine, Chef Peel has left his indelible mark on places such as Ma Maison, Michael’s, Chez Panisse, Spago, Chinois, co-founding La Brea Bakery and, his award-winning restaurant for more than two decades, Campanile. At Prawn, he has revamped his current broth-based concept, Bombo Foods, to now feature a larger variety of pristine seafood made with California’s freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. In a departure from his fine dining legacy, Chef Peel hopes to bring a more approachable seafood-centric menu to Los Angeles diners.
“Seafood is wonderful in that it allows us to explore a world of flavors, while keeping the dishes simple and delicious. Bringing classic nuances of elegant seafood to the fast-casual world is what I’m most excited about,” says Chef Peel regarding his coastal-inspired menu. Elevating the traditional approach to fast-casual dining, Chef Peel will deliver unpretentious yet spectacular cuisine. As a chef classically trained in French cuisine passionate about Mediterranean flavors, Chef Peel continues to push the boundaries of traditional cuisine. Utilizing centuries-old pressure cooking technology to capture and steep his flavors, Chef Peel delivers dimensional dishes that are both ingredient-driven and taste-forward. Extracting deep flavor, Chef Peel then finishes his dishes in tilting steam kettles to provide an evolutionary cooking process that renders more complex flavors. As a culinary innovator, Peel leverages the use of steam kettles to expedite the simmering process resulting in a richer taste.
With dishes like the Warm Albacore Salad featuring chunks of local albacore stewed in a curried shrimp broth with shiitake mushrooms and roasted onions, served atop fresh Napa cabbage and mustard greens and a preserved lemon and date vinaigrette, or the Seattle Fish Stew, boasting a plentiful and flavorful lobster-tomato broth filled with fresh fish, shrimp, squid, clams, and mussels served over rice, guests can choose from a wide array of both cold and hot seafood items. Chef Peel’s reinterpretations of classics such as a Lobster Roll, with chunks of Maine lobster stewed in lobster broth with roasted onion, potatoes, and spicy coleslaw and bacon rouille in a soft roll; the Fish and Chips, a delicious lightly beer-battered cod served with Downtown home fried potatoes, cucumber yogurt, spicy vinegar and pickled vegetables, reflect coast-to-coast inspiration. For non-pescatarians, Chef Peel has added seasonally-inspired grain bowls such as the Roasted Cauliflower Bowl with turmeric seasoned cauliflower, brown rice, mung beans, flax seed, kabocha squash, shiitake mushrooms, spiced almonds and a mustard green slaw with roasted garlic-basil dressing, and the Sunny Side Bowl with barley and quinoa, roasted broccolini, pickled sweet pepper, spiced almonds and sorrel pesto topped with a fried egg, sunny side up.
Armed with decades of experience in fine-dining and desires to broaden the reach of quality ingredients, Chef Peel brings dedicated expertise to satisfy seafood lovers looking for a truly unique experience at an affordable price. With plans to roll out multiple locations alongside partner, John Shin, the team intends to cast a larger net to more markets featuring both dining on-site and ordering to-go. The scalable and expandable concept will cater to both diners on the move and diners looking for a leisurely meal.
The redesigned space will feature a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere with a simple, yet highly recognizable coastal vibe echoing the classic seafood market. Aimed at redefining fast casual, Prawn celebrates the bounty of the sea by sourcing sustainable and responsibly harvested seafood. Open for lunch and dinner daily, Prawn will also serve a selection of exclusive seasonal wines on tap and craft-centric beers.