After cooking devotedly in his home state of Georgia for 17 years, Jason Hall recently moved cross-country to take on the role of Chef de Cuisine at Jane Q. He rocks a bevy of culinary accomplishments—most recently, he was Executive Chef at Hampton + Hudson in Atlanta—but he has a few non-cooking talents, too. For one, he’s a classically trained painter. With his diverse, artistic interests (think tattoos, vinyl records and fermentation), he’s arrived in his perfect city.
Letting the Ingredients Sing
For Jason, the most exciting aspect of the LA restaurant scene is the variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. “Chefs here utilize the produce without doing much to adulterate it,” he says, emphasizing that restraint is just as vital as cooking techniques. At Jane Q, which celebrates rustic Californian fare, he’s already putting that philosophy to practice.
“Jane Q is a tribute to the farmer’s market,” Jason says. Much of the produce he uses originates at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market a few blocks away. Jane Q features a rotating pizza oven, where inventive flatbreads, veg-centric pizzas and hearth-fired breads constantly emerge, paired with sides like this recipe for asparagus with rouille and ‘nduja “gremoulata.” In this sunny, all-day eatery, each menu item spotlights the local Californian bounty that Jason has already come to cherish.
Delicious Discoveries – Chef Jason’s LA Picks:
Want to experience the excitement of the LA food scene through Jason’s fresh, chef-honed eyes? Since his arrival, he’s been scouring articles, tracking food writers on Instagram, following recommendations from colleagues and fellow LA chefs, and adding a good dose of wandering. Here are his favorite finds:
- “Gjelina was my first dining experience in the LA area. I was blown away. Travis Lett is really doing it right. I had the sweetbreads because you rarely see them on a menu.”
- “Angelini Osteria was my first classic Italian foray here. Get the lasagna or, really, any pasta. It’s very classic, with straightforward technique and execution. Also try their neighboring cafe, Angelini Alimentari, for the veal tonnato—out of this world.”
- “I love the service style at Republique for lunch. It’s all counter service, and there are tons of house-made pastries. The Cuban sandwich is especially noteworthy.”
- “Son of a Gun is a great place for oysters, hamachi and other seafood bites. But it’s also the only place I’ve seen in the city with real country ham, which is what got me through the door.”