Chad White is home. The hard-working chef, who cooked at Roseville, Gabardine and Counterpoint before embarking on culinary projects that spanned from a food court pizza concept (UTC's Craft Pizza) to a Tijuana gastro bar (La Justina) and countless food events on both sides of the border, has hung his hat in East Village, where Común Kitchen & Tavern soft launches tomorrow night.
White's had a hand in everything, from the custom crafted furniture to the eye-popping art installations by Mexicali artist Glorial Muriel and the exhibition kitchen, where he'll be in residence, supported by Mikel Anthony, formerly of Juniper & Ivy and Mariana Gallardo (Chaplos).
He's had the opportunity to cook alongside some of the world's best chefs, and intends on having his chef friends dropping in for one-a-month guest stints. Tonight's pre-opening dinner with George's at The Cove's Trey Foshee sold out in 36 hours; Edgar Nuñez of Sud 777 in Mexico City will stop by in mid-August while soon-to-be San Diego resident Nate Appleman is scheduled for September.
Común will be open this Friday and Saturday, then fully activate starting on Monday for daily lunch and dinner. A liquor license should kick in by Wednesday; Chris Schaztman (Stingaree) says there will be cocktails based on seasonal aguas frescas, Baja wine and 12 taps of self-service beer.
White told Eater that his menu is based on the food he likes to eat now, not the more "cheffy" dishes that he cooked at the start of his career. At lunch, there are acai bowls, summery salads and composed grain dishes with quinoa and farro. Dinner is mostly small plates, from tuna belly chicharron to smoked shark and carnitas tostadas, and family-styles plates of clams and fried fish with homemade tortillas. For dessert, Viva Pops' paletas come in flavors ranging from dulce de leche to peach and mezcal.
Though White and the team behind Común, who include Shane Brennan and Demien Farrell of Enlightened Hospitality Group, Alfredo Jaime and Rodolfo Farber of Jaime Partners and GM Miyoshe Miller (Searsucker, Prepkitchen) hope to potentially expand the concept to Mexico, Los Angeles and the East Coast, they're focused first on creating community in their own neighborhood.
Común Kitchen & Tavern [Official Site]
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