Stuff’d Dumpling Shop, a fast-casual concept with a global — and gluten-free — focus is scheduled to open Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The concept was developed by partners Liza Tevelev and Matthew Cooper, who said they grew up together and ended up in the financial consulting world before they decided to act on their shared love for food. Stuff’d is the first restaurant venture for both.
Tevelev said she is Russian and grew up with the Eastern European style of dumpling that was always a crowd pleaser.
“When we moved to LA, I started bringing them to my friends to try them and people seemed to love them,” she said.
Dumplings are familiar in many different cultures, and Stuff’d attempts to bring together flavors from around the world, using organic, locally sourced and fully transparent ingredients.
The idea is to offer “fine dining in a fast-casual wrapper,” said Cooper. “When it comes to dumplings, people aren’t really making much of an effort about being transparent. That’s something we really pride ourselves in.”
To create the menu, Stuff’d tapped chef Missy Kim, previously the executive chef at Café Stella and a personal chef for talent agent Ari Emanuel — known as the inspiration for the fictional Ari Gold character on the show “Entourage.”
The menu at Stuff’d will offer a Siberian Classic with beef and pork in a sour cream sauce, for example. But then there’s the Notorious P.I.G., with kalua pork and cabbage, a purple potato purée and spicy soy vinaigrette. The Miso Fresh includes Misoyaki cod in bacon dashi broth with pickled shiitake mushrooms and baby bok choy.
For dessert, the Crumble dumpling is stuffed with seasonal fruit, such as strawberry and rhubarb, and served with vanilla ice cream.
Cooper said prices range from about $5.50 to $8.50 per order, and a single serving includes roughly 10 dumplings.
Stuff’d is opening in about 1,200-square feet with seating for about 18 inside. A patio will be added later and Cooper expects the outlet to do a swift to-go and delivery business.
Tevelev said the goal is to grow with more retail outlets, but also to develop a frozen product that could be sold in grocery stores.
“One thing that’s exciting is that we have the opportunity to use super high-end ingredients that you wouldn’t normally find in frozen food or the fast-casual environment,” she said.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
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