This is The Feast 14, in which we highlight the most anticipated projects of the new season. Here now, details on forthcoming burger joint Short Order.
Let’s get one thing straight: Short Order is not Nancy Silverton’s restaurant. It’s Amy Pressman’s. Silverton consulted on the recipes and since she and Pressman are good friends, she’ll be popping by more often than the regular customer. Sure, Silverton has a small stake in the burger place and also lends her talent to little sister bakery Short Cake, but don’t expect her to be running the daily operation like she does at Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza. Below, we get more details on the new project from Silverton, who has just returned from a five week holiday in Italy.
What is your role in Short Order?
I’m collaborating with my old friend Amy Pressman on a lot of the recipes. She is the owner and will be the person that is working there daily. I’m certainly there for support. To compensate me for that help she was very generous to give me a small interest in the business, so that is what the relationship is, but it is really her restaurant. We all know that the easy part is coming up with the recipes and the hard part is the day to day, so I got the easy part.
What type of burgers will you be serving?
That was sort of a grueling process because we both were really particular. Amy was really adamant about using grass-fed beef. In principal I agree that grass-fed is the right direction, but it hasn't always given me the most satisfying results. I find the flavor to be off-putting sometimes and the consistency to be dry. We were able to work closely with a California purveyor that was able to deliver a grass-fed product that's really delicious.
What combinations will we find on the menu?
There will also be a pork burger raised humanely; a turkey burger; a lamb burger and Amy came up with a burger I was very skeptical about—a medium firm silken tofu that is also being produced in Northern California. She really wanted a vegetarian burger that she could grill. It’s not too dry and holds up to the grill. She also has a few open faced varieties called ‘burgers on a raft.’
Do you have a favorite burger?
The turkey burger with a sage-cheddar cheese, melted leeks, celery and a little bit of butter lettuce. There's also the ‘old school’ burger with dill, pickle, lettuce, tomato and something similar to American cheese. The meat will be coarsely ground, loosely packed with a fair amount of fat, juicy. All the meat is sourced from humanely raised animals and each burger is well constructed. There aren't any gimmicks that require overly expensive ingredients. What makes us expensive is the sourcing of the animal.
Tell us more about the Short Cake component.
It’s sort of the same relationship but without the partnership. I’m just sort of helping Amy with some of the recipes. What you’ll find there is a fantastic coffee program and that was one of my largest contributions. I introduced my nephew [Nikolas Krankl] to her. He is a champion barista. When she was taking over the bakery she wanted to be able to serve a hand-crafted coffee to go with it, an alternative to Starbucks. She is going to serve some light meals too. Open faced sandwiches, scones, cookies.
No cupcakes, but muffins, coffee cakes. It'll be an American-European hybrid. I helped her with some English muffin recipes which she will be using also at Short Order for breakfast and I helped with the open faces sandwiches and egg torts. She’s also going to do one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
What do you reveal in the Mozza Cookbook?
Recipes from both restaurants. It’s coming out at the end of September. It was kind of daunting [to take from both restaurants] and we delivered a book that was twice as large.
Any other plans for expansion plans for the coming year?
We opened a Mozza Pizzeria and Osteria in Singapore. And I just found out that we got our liquor license for the Newport Beach Mozza pizzeria location. We are under serious negotiations for one in San Diego, too, but we’ll see. [The Feast]