Staff Meal Mondays and Water Pairings at Ray’s & Stark Bar
Ray’s and Stark Bar recently launched a couple of new programs at the restaurant. I checked out Staff Meal Mondays recently and also learned about the water menu. Ray’s General Manager Martin Reise is also a certified water sommelier and has put together a menu featuring waters from around the world. Martin explained that sometimes you want something a little bit special to enhance your meal but can’t indulge in alcohol for whatever reason. For $12, he’ll pair your meal with water. Now “water cheers” has a whole new meaning!
We tasted six different waters. Now I’ve always know water will taste different depending on where it’s from. Some may taste of the minerals in the spring they’re from but it was interesting to learn some waters also had higher oxygen content such as the Iskilde water from Denmark. I am not much of a fan of sparkling waters but enjoyed the tiny bubbles of this water. Also the Vichy was extremely salty. I worried about this making your food saltier but found it went great with the short ribs nachos.
For the taquitos, the Vichy water once again went well the rolled up treats. Mexican food is such a win for staff meals. Expect the menu to change weekly but I hope Chef Kris Morningstar brings these babies back.
I always tell people I only drink booze… and water. This night I tried the cocktail meant to go with the staff meal. The Mexican Hodge Podge (mezcal, Partida tequila reposado, maraschino, bitters, flamed orange peel). It was done in a style of an old fashioned and worked well with the meal. I liked the hint of smokiness with the piquant tacos.
Martin has his own water called 92H2O. It’s in a glass bottle modeled after a diamond. It has heavier mouth feel than something like Voss. It also has added minerals. For those who like electrolytes in their water, Martin says to look for those mineral waters. He does prefer glass bottles though Ray’s carries Fiji water which is owned by the Resnick family. They are major supporters of LACMA where Ray’s is located. How obsessed is this man about water? Well, he has a refrigerator in his car to keep his water cool. That’s some dedication. However, he doesn’t enjoy rain or swimming though his girlfriend is an Olympic swimmer. I watched in fascination Martin swishing water around like a wine somm would do.
For a sneak peek into restaurant staff meals, check out Ray’s on Mondays. And get the water pairing, too. Your non-California friends will envy your life of good art, food and health.
Ray’s & Stark Bar
Ray’s & Stark Bar at LACMA5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036 – (323) 857-6180 © The Minty 2013