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Campy

Campy

Chef Nguyen Tran is taking some of Los Angeles's top chefs out of the kitchen and to the great outdoors to camp, cook and who knows what else.

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Transcript

- [Dispatcher] 4972 West 21st Street, number three. - That's me, Nguyen Tran, on the day I got busted for running an illegal restaurant out of my apartment in North Hollywood. And that's me, years later, running one of the most popular restaurants in all of Los Angeles. This is me now, taking a break from it all, making a show about going on adventures with some of my favorite chefs. We're gonna camp, we're gonna cook, who knows what's gonna happen. It's Campy. Early morning, Carpon De Ria Top of a mountain, it's beautiful. I mean, you can't see, it's all mist, but it's really pretty up here and my friend Graham's cooking for us. We're gonna eat whatever he makes, smells really good. Morning Graham. - Morning. How are you, Nguyen? - High five it. - [Graham] I hope you're hungry. - [Nguyen] I am hungry. - [Graham] We've got some sausage here, our sliced white onions, some fresh baby potatoes. Ready for huevos? - I'm always ready for huevos. Dude, this is a party in a pan. That is a big ass pan. I want to swim in this. I want to sit on it and watch Netflix. Don't you want to do that? - Um, let's just eat. - [Nguyen] Okay, that's fair too, I'll do that. - [Graham] Right, come on over. - Cowboy coffee, cowboy breakfast with no so cowboy hollandaise. You know what I love about what you made here? It has an incredible sausage to egg, or sausage to everything else ratio. It's a Nguyen Tran approved meal right there. The beans are really good, too. Have you ever, ever had desk job? - Desk job? - Yeah. - Oh no. No. Just feel a lot more comfortable in this setting. - I feel a lot more comfortable too. There's no HR out here, that's the best part. - What is HR? - Human Resources, see that's, see that's how much you haven't had a desk job. You literally have not had a desk job, you don't know what the HR is. - I thought it stood for Hollister Ranch. - That is so inspiring, you have no idea. - [Graham] They say the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man and I think that's very true. Definitely good for your spirit. There are several different categories of cowboy: cattlemen, cutting horse guys, there's team ropers. I'm a packer and a outfitter. I don't think of my every day routine as work, I think of it as, you know, I'm making a living. It just comes natural at this point, just keep at it. My name's Graham Goodfield, and I'm an outfitter and guide, and my company's Los Padres Outfitters and most of what we do is take people in the back country on horse and mule adventures, and enjoy the good campfire food. You get to see things out here that a lot of people don't have the opportunity to see. All right Nguyen, we're gonna go up here and wrangle these horses. - With what? This, what is this? - That's our bucket, we call it shakin' a bucket. I'm a sixth generation Santa Barbera person. I think the biggest attraction for me to stick with this sort of lifestyle was the privilege to work with horses and mules and get to meet people from all over the world. One, two, three, four, five, six. This is Willie coming up behind you guys. - This is happening. - [Graham] Yeah, I see Beyonce over there. - [Nguyen] The Queen B is here? - [Graham] Yeah. - [Nguyen] Well, they definitely go as fast as the food goes. - [Graham] You make a good wrangler, Nguyen. You'll know when you see your horse. You get out there and you kinda get a vibe from one of them. - I would love to a horse if one of them would want to talk to me. Feels like I'm back in high school, why are they all running away from me? Don't kick me. You read any good books lately? Remember when I was feeding you was alfalfa? Do you remember that? Who's this? - [Graham] This is Lucy. - [Nguyen] Lucy, are you my horse, girl? You come round, you got boyfriend? - Mules are very nice to ride, you can't beat a good riding mule. They're real smooth, they've got a real smooth gait. - Does she come with the 100,000 mile warranty? - Yeah, she could, you bet. Brush 'em before we saddle 'em. The best way I've found to treat these animals is with a lot of respect. We count on them to do a job for us and make sure they've got everything they need. We use these mules for packing, mainly. Nice. They will do an amazing job for you, as long as you take care of 'em and pack 'em properly and don't abuse 'em. This is all traditional cook gear that you would've seen 100 years ago. And so this lid gets filled with coals, and then we stack, see they've got feet? - This is impressive, I love cast iron. This is the stuff. - I think getting out on horseback and into the back country really helps people get a different perspective on folks that utilize the back country. You know, they realize how respectful we are of the land that we use and the environment that we're in. All right, we're ready to get mounted up. Put your, grab up here, grab up. There you go. - [Nguyen] Oh, my hat dropped, but I'm on! - [Graham] Can't believe you dropped your hat. Put it on your head, don't touch it, just wear it. There you go, nice. - I feel really comfortable up here. - You picked a good one. - How do I go forward? - [Graham] Little kick with your heels. Just drive her right towards me. - She's coming along anyway. - Yeah. There you go, good. - [Nguyen] He takes kind of the balance of the old world and new world and brings it together in a way that makes him and his family really happy. - [Graham] You know, you choose a job that you love you'll never have to work a day in your life, there's a lot to that. Cheers. - [Nguyen] Hey, Graham. - [Graham] Yeah? - [Nguyen] You play Pokemon Go at all? - [Graham] Never have. - [Nguyen] You know what it is? - [Graham] I have no idea. - I'll show you later what it means. You ever seen Young Guns? - Yeah. - [Nguyen] You know the best part about Young Guns? - [Graham] What's that? - You ever watch any anime? You know what anime is? - [Graham] No. - [Nguyen] We should watch the one called Cowboy Beebop. Did you grow up watching John Hughes movies at all, too? - [Graham] No. - [Nguyen] Molly Ringwald, you know who she is, though? - [Graham] No. - [Nguyen] Molly Ringwald, she's in the movie Sixteen Candles. - Okay, yeah I do. - Yeah, see, you know what I'm talkin' about. - [Graham] You bet. - [Nguyen] Do you, like, wear special underwear? 'Cause it's really uncomfortable. - [Graham] Yeah, it can be. All right, well let's unload here. - [Nguyen] Unload here? I got it. - Nice. That was a long ride. - This has been a great experience. I'm gonna be honest, I'm kind of addicted now. Ridding horses is not just for white people. This is cool, I'm down. - [Graham] Okay, look out. - [Nguyen] You know I didn't expect any of this and it's given me a lot of perspective and this is just really good for me. Running a restaurant's hard. Things got something going and things got something right. You know, he takes kind of the balance of the old world and new world and brings it together in a way that makes him and his family really happy. So the center stick is the next part? - Yeah. You know, you chose a job that you love you'll never have to work a day in your life. There's a lot to that. - [Nguyen] Got it. I don't got it. You ever do this lying down? - People are blown away with what we can turn out on an open campfire and with those Dutch ovens. It's really amazing for people to see stuff like that. - The food he's making is honestly pretty refined 'cause he loves food, it has nothing to do with being a cowboy, but using the cowboy technique or the cowboy tools to make the food that he loves. - We're blown away too with some of the stuff we come up with. We're gonna do our cedar plank salmon on the grill. We soak these in nice white wine and our rub is a little bit of coffee grounds and some brown sugar. And our beef tri-tip . The open campfire cooking method is coals, right out of the fire. Start with our biggest Dutch oven on the bottom. That's our pineapple upside down cake oi the bottom. - [Nguyen] Coals underneath, coals on top. - Yep, graduate to a smaller Dutch oven. In this one I'm gonna put that tri-tip and let it finish. Again we'll fill the lid with coals. We graduate to an even smaller one that could be our biscuits or our bread. It's neat for people to see that you don't need an entire kitchen to turn out eight or nine course meal out of six Dutch ovens and one skillet, all off of one small campfire. - 'Cause you're baking, you're searing, and, you know, this is more circulating, that's baking as well. And this is kind of like stewing. That's rad. - Yeah. - It's this great marriage of modern technique and then old-school kind of cowboy technique. Even though it's your business, you don't do it just as a business as much as something that you, like truly, genuinely enjoy? - Oh, absolutely. My love is mostly those horses and the mules. And I like to ride a lot. - OG. - All right. All right. - We've got eight courses? - [Graham] Yep. - [Nguyen] This is like a French meal right here. Din dins! - Cheers. - Cheers to you, too. Thank you so much for making all this, this is truly, really inspirational and it's made me think a lot about, you know, what I'm going to do next in my life and, you know, I've had a really good time opening restaurants, but I've had a really bad time with it as well. You know the good comes with the bad. - Yeah, yeah, that's for sure. - And, you know, I might move on with my life to something else and I don't know what that is yet, but. - Gosh, there's lots of things we want to do, my wife and I want to have lots of dreams and so, you never know. We never know where we're gonna end up. We'll see. - This? This is Kern River. The guys from Hatchet Hall, we're gonna get some fishin' done, see some stuff, eat some food. - What is American food? I don't think anybody really knows what it is yet. I think we have an idea and I think Hatchet Hall is trying to find is not what American cuisine is now, but what it was. It's a handle that we're kinda trying to shake. Food's got so out of whack over the past few years with all the, you know, molecular gastronomy and, you know, cooking in plastic bags and we cook everything by hand, for the most part, and with fire. Cooking with fire is all instincts. It's not like turning a knob on a stove, you really have to be able to, you know, to feel it and you have to be able to see it and smell it. - [Nguyen] How's it going? - [Gary] Good, how are you? - We're looking to fish for trout and I need everything. - It's a good starter. - Can I catch like a 50 pound trout in this? - Maybe not a 50 pounder. - You hold it, right? Can I catch a fish with this? - Might be a little difficult. - But could it be fun? - Hook you up with some split shot weights like this. - And then the other end goes on the string of this? Is that like, like that goes in sushi? - Let's dump out these big ol' night-- - Whoa! Can I touch them? Could I give the trout, like, a combo a meal? With the treble hook with the night crawlers and the eggs? Come on, it's like giving a hamburger and fries, you know? You get a good meal out of that. - Let's get you checked out. - Wait a second. Gary, I think I need one of these. - That's not what real fishermen wear. - I feel real, I feel real boy fisherman, like. - Well, if that's what makes you feel like a real fisherman. - Thank you, Gary, thank you so much. Let's fish. Morning. Y'all is fishin' stuff? I got this fishin' rod, got this awesome fishin' hat-- - Shhh, you're scaring all the fish. - [Nguyen] Wow, that was fast. - Nice one. - Holy crap. - Everybody's gonna laugh at you. - I have not literally done this since I was four or five years old so what do we do now? - All right, well you're all rigged up. Hold this down here now, - Hold that? - With your other hand. - Like this? Okay. - There you go and let go of the string. - Okay, let go? - There you go. - Okay. - All right check it. You wanna back up just a little. You got your finger here. Once you whip it around and you wanna use your wrist and you wanna release with your fingers. So. - [Nguyen] The Dunsmoor Draw. - See? - Oh, you got something or you got debris? - I got debris. - [Nguyen] I have no idea what I'm doing with this. - [Dunsmoor] Just don't let go of the whole pole and throw it into the water. - Okay, okay, okay. - Boom. - [Dunsmoor] Hey! - Look at that. - [Dunsmoor] All right. All right. - Hatchet Hall is the epitome of the campfire restaurant. I mean, their restaurant is all about fire. It's a fire, everything they cook is over an open flame. Now I'm getting the hang of this, is this it? The is all we do? - This is it until you catch a fish. - Just good to get away from everything, I feel like, not hearing any sirens. You know, all the beauty of Los Angeles. - This being alone with your thoughts thing is not so bad. Starting to get relaxed. Can't wait to see what these guys do, you know, outside the restaurant, 'cause I don't think they're gonna be out of their element. It's gonna be fantastic, I just know it. - If I made a cookbook we wouldn't do recipes. It would be like a rough guideline and inspiration, all you have to do is put your heart and your soul into it and then you'll have something special. Just need to do griddle toast, then we're gonna do some sliced tomatoes, country ham, fried eggs and a little bit of red-eye gravy. To the perfect camping dish. - Aw, this is good eating, man, breakfast! - Not bad for the Kern River. - Yeah, right? - I think as a chef, getting out, getting out of the city and getting into nature a little bit, it kind of reminds you of why you do it. Submerging yourself in nature is super, super, super important. - Slow down your thoughts, get a new perspective on everything. 'Cause, you know, there's no cars, there's no airplanes, just kinda hanging out. - Cook with more limitations. It makes you appreciate what you have back at the restaurant. 'Cause you always come back slightly refreshed and re-inspired, especially if you do it on a regular basis. It keeps you sane. - This is amazing! - Right? - No, it's really good. - I'm just sliding it straight off the plate into my mouth, like this. - [Guy With Long Hair] Look at that. - You know what would've been really great? If we caught a fish. That would've been really inspiring. - You had it in your hands! - I know. - Back when we lived in Athens, you know what, I think we're gonna drop in right here. - Hey wait. - Where you going? - Oh shh.. - I'm in right behind you! - Yeah! - [Nguyen] Maybe you should get some air? - So shallow! - Oh, that hurt my feet! - It's like two feet. - [Nguyen] Even if you went further. - [Dunsmoor] The unpredictability in cooking with fire is much more forward when you're cooking outdoors. - [Nguyen] Oh, look at that! Oh! Cheers! - Fire is fascinating to me. Fire to me symbolizes laid back, good times. I'm eating food, and drinking, and being merry. There you go! - Oh! - Ahh! You got the accuracy down. You get it outta there, you're king! - [Nguyen] Almost. - The unpredictability in cooking with fire is much more forward when you're cooking outdoors. Nobody can argue that a rib eye steak cooked in a plastic bag's gonna taste better than a big hunk o meat, cooked on a grill, over a live fire. - [Nguyen] Oh, look at that! Oh! Oh this is rendering really good right now. - Yeah. [Nguyen] This is a lot of work. - Making things easier doesn't necessarily make 'em better. You know, doing what we do, is like sticking your guns, and having real opinions about this kinda stuff, and -- - [Nguyen] Even if you're wrong, right? - Yeah, even if you're wrong. - That's it. - [Dunsmoor] It makes your food yours. - You got some beans on the side. - [Dunsmoor] These are sea island red peas. The flavor - [Nguyen] What are they being stewed in? - Country ham scraps, a little bit of smoked pork stock. - [Nguyen] Super salty, porky, savory. - Look at what I caught! What? Where did all that trout come from? - Gotta come prepared! Even if you don't catch it. - [Dunsmoor] My favorite fish is trout. I grew up with it. We trout fished, I trout fish now. The bacon's like a super-traditional thing for hunters or campers to take with them, so that the way that we do it here, we just fry bacon, and then we'll pan fry the trout in the bacon grease. - [Nguyen] You guys always have a trout, right? - [Dunsmoor] Yeah, we have always had the trout. I think it's just a such a great whole fish to be shocked in, and I love the presentation of a whole fish. - [Nguyen] What is hoe cake? And I'm assuming that's not, like a street walker cake. - Corn meal griddle cakes, or hoe cakes. 'Cause traditionally they used to cook it on an open fire, on a hoe, in the fields. - I don't think I've met anyone who is so historically focused, and informed, and how that actually plays into the food that you're making. I'm happy to be your friend, as cheesy as that sounds. I'm really inspired by like. - [Dunsmoor] I really appreciate that, Nguyen. With our knowledge now, recreate some of the best food that our country had to offer in the beginning. You get a lot more out of what you do if you have to I don't wanna say suffer for it, but like really earn it. It takes significantly more finesse. Cooking by hand, I think, is slowly been lost. And, hopefully it'll slowly come back. And that's really what we're trying to work with. - Hey, the chin, chin. Yeah, hey! - Chin! - Cheers! - Chin, chin, chin, chin! - Okay, back to food, back to food! - Alright, beauty! - Considering your obsession with fire, were you just a complete and utter pyromaniac as a kid? - Yeah, absolutely. Karma has it when I was a senior in high school, my house got struck by lightning, and burned completely to the ground. - Are you kidding me? - No. So, I went from being pyromaniac, to having like a fire phobia, and then coming like - Full circle, huh? - Fully back into it. - Well, we're lucky that it didn't scare the crap outta you, 'cause we wouldn't be able to experience all this, so. - Me too, I've enjoyed myself thoroughly today. - We should go camping with lots of fire a lot more often. We'll go catch some real trout. - [Nguyen] One of the best things about Los Angeles is that it is basically a city on the beach. You have to do some driving, but the ocean really is right there. I'm with my friends Chloe and Nikki from Knuckle and Claw. We're headed up the coast for a day of food, fun, and food, and fun! - Knuckle and Claw is a lobster roll joint, and we fly all of our lobster in overnight from Maine. We specialize in New England comfort food. We do it all. If it's from New England, and it makes you feel like home, we got it. - Drop the mic. She nailed it. ♪ Good time feeling! ♪ - Lobster was, back in the day, it was peasant food. It was plentiful, and they saw it as a cheap - Cockroach of the sea. - Bottom feeder, yeah. And then it became this white tablecloth, like, you only get it certain times of year because it's so expensive. Someone decided, "Hey, let's meet in the middle, "Crack it open, throw it in a bun." I kinda like that. Bring it back down to it's roots. - Yeah. - [Nikki] We wanna bring you back to sitting on the dock on the East Coast in the middle of summer no matter what time of year it is in L.A. - Spread the lobster word. It's God's work. I'm Chloe Dahl. - I'm Nikki Booth - And we're at Knuckle and Claw at our Santa Monica location. - [Nikki] Let's just stop here really quickly grab some ingredients, and then we'll be good to go. - [Nguyen] Okay, come on, Bonnie! - Come on! - Well, the great thing about this is we can just get everything we need for the barbecue, you know? We've already got the lobsters. - Yeah, I mean we - We grab some garlic - Need some shallots for the minunette. - [ Chloe] So what we're doing, is we're gonna get a barbecue, like a grill on the beach, and we've got some lobsters, we're gonna cut 'em in half, put 'em on the grill with butter and garlic on there. We got corn, we're gonna put some lemon in the lemon butter, and just dunk our lobster in that. - Look at that, awww. No, I'm not shaking, it's just excitement. This isn't because you let it - [Chloe] You're doing so well. - [Nguyen] You are or you aren't buying all this stuff? - The majority of it. I mean, the last couple of things were just for fun, so. - [Nguyen] So now the beach? - No, no, no. The joy's in the journey. - Come on, let's go! - [Nguyen] This is why I love California. It's so pretty - [Nikki] I know, I'm ready for some oysters, I'm starving. - [Nguyen] What is The Jolly Oyster? - It's something Bonnie wants to be a part of. - [Nguyen] She love oysters? - [Chloe] She's a seafood lover. - [Nguyen] Does she really eat oysters? - [Nikki] She devours whole lobster heads. Stepping on a lot of shattered dreams right now. - Shattered dreams But I wanna eat these shattered dreams, Nikki. - The Jolly Oyster offers an outdoor picnicking barbecue experience. Enjoy our oysters and clams that we farm down in our local farms down in Baja. - You get to see all your food being made right in front of you, so you know exactly where it comes from. And I think that's another part of what we like as business owners. - It's not just a little shack. You have a farm that's 400 miles away that you farm oysters that we can eat here, or on the beach, or grill 'em and shuck 'em. - It's all about getting down to what's important in life. Being with friends, being Central Coast Southern California outside, and just relaxing just being. - When it comes to lobster rolls, and the whole experience around them, most of the time you're eating them outside, you know? It's just a little shack that you're getting this lobster roll out of. - Those are the best kind. - Chloe, when we were discussing how we wanted to look, she described it as, "I want it to look like a sh y lobster roll shack." That's how it should be. It should just be super fresh, straight out of the water, shucked to order. - This is the oyster that we would barbecue with. - You know, we might wanna get some of these for our barbecue tonight. - Bottoms up - Here go! Gro! - She got a big oyster! - It's like mine was big, but this was huge - [Chloe] There is no messing around. - This is deep! - There you go, and there's your como motto. - [Nikki] Thank you - And those are your large Pacific. - [Nguyen] Arrr! - Enjoy! - [Group] Thank you so much! - [Nikki] We just wanna get messy, you know? You get messy, you rip everything open, and then you just go clean off in the ocean. ♪ My, my, my baby. ♪ - Beach! We've been driving all day. We got fruits at fruit stands, we got oysters. I'll be honest with you, I I actually haven't surfed in like a decade. - Can take you out, old man. - Now, that's a thumper. What else do I need to know, though? I don't remember anything, I mean, I remember paddling, I remember jumping on the board. - [Nikki] We can go through just the basic popup. - Let's do it! - Beautiful. Hands back - Take a night. - Push up, remember? - Push up? - [Nikki] Like that, yeah. Keep your hips kind of down. Throw that left leg forward. - And then drag it like that? - Yeah, just like that. So you look like a natural. One, two, three. - Brutal, I forgot how demoralizing surfing is. Tiring is an under ing statement. - [Nikki] So we've never done a beach cookout, in L.A., or anywhere on this side of the coast, I don't think. When we go to the vineyard, we do it all the time. We get our lobsters, we cut 'em in half, we put it all on the grill. The flavors just circulate and combine. So, we're just gonna bring a little piece of Martha's Vineyard. - So I thought I'd make dessert. For the special ladies. Glazed donut bread pudding with macerated strawberries, and with melted, dissolved Oreos in Coca-Cola. Yeah, that's it. - [Nikki] A bit of perior clams. - [Chloe] Put this on first, especially because all you need, a little white wine, little garlic. We threw them on there. Five minutes later, they opened up, and they're ready to go. - It's chocolaty! - [Nikki] It's authentic, alright? - [Nguyen] It's authentic, it's authentic to me. I believe in sending yourself to the grave a happy man. So, heavy cream. - [Nikki] Alright, these are Mr. Jolly's oysters. These are the Pacific ones. They recommended we throw on the grill, so that's exactly what we're gonna do. - [Nguyen] Corn, got oysters with garlic on it. Oysters like garlic on it, got lobster. Man, these girls really know how to do this kinda dinner stuff on a fire. It's gonna be so arrgh! - [Nikki] You just wanna get messy, you know? You get messy, you rip everything open. And then you just go, clean off in the ocean. And it's good, it's awesome. - Yeah, it's very, what's the word, primal? - [Nikki] Yeah, it's bringing it back to how I feel it should be done. - Thank you so much for this farm to beach, to sea, to back to the beach to the barbecue, to our mouths meal. Impressive pioneers in that farm to sea, to beach to barbecue to mouth movement. It's a thing, I read about it in the interweb. It's you guys, you two. You know the first rule of cooking, and especially in a kitchen is taste everything? It's really good. For the queen of the waves. - [Nikki] Oh, thank you, sir. - [Nguyen] I hope you like it. I kind of - [Nikki] I'm ready to go Can we dive in? - [Nguyen] Dive in, dive in. - [Chloe] Oh, so good! - The one thing I do love about food, and the reason why I made it for you guys is to thank you guys for all the time you and all the fun you guys spent with me today. - Instead of just producing a meal and putting it down on people, in front of people. The joy is making it, and making it together, and just creating something. And it is a symbol for friendship, for love, for everything. - [Nguyen] I'm really appreciative of that. 'Cause I think my life is really short. And I'm better off for how I've known you guys, and thank you. - [Chloe] Oh, Nguyen! - [Nikki] No, we had a blast today! - [Chloe] We feel the same way - No, seriously, it's been a lot of fun. - It really has been a sick day. - [Nguyen] So, I'm in Compton, which I'm not at almost ever, and I heard about these guys Trapped Kitchen, that run this illegal underground kitchen out of their house, and the only way you find them is through Instragram. And they have a phone number there, which I'm gonna ring. And I'll be a narc and figure this out. - [Voice Answering Phone] Yeah, Trap Kitchen? - [Nguyen] Holy crap! Been trying to get through for so long. So, my friend told me about you guys. And he told me that you guys are legit, and I wanted to try you guys. - [Voice On The Phone] I'm gonna text you the address, right now, you come through, right now, pull up. - [Nguyen] I'm gonna pull up when I come through. I run with four catchers. Like, is this cool? Is this cool? - [Voice On The Phone] You ask too many questions. Hello? Hello? Think this is, is this Trap Kitchen? Ever been scared you walk up to the door, you don't know what's gonna happen to you? Hey, hey, hey. Trap Kitchen, Trap Kitchen of L.A.? - Who is you? - I called - Called when? - I called, like ten minutes ago. You gave me the address. - Man, I didn't give you no address. You give him the address? - Four dedless hatches - Four, That was you? - Yeah, that was me. - Come on, man. - Make sure you ain't go no wire on you. - We started in a house. No publicity, no managers, and people behind us, helping us. Nothing. - I had $300 to my name. I was ready to go sell drugs. 'Cause that's what we know to do. - We sold out, on the first day. It was just going crazy. We were just so surprised that it was all gone. - Turned that 300 into 3,000. You know what I'm sayin? - All full - All full. And I said I would never go back. We was just tryin to make a way for our family - Stay outta trouble - to stay outta trouble. We're best friends and business owners. I'm Spanky Harless, man. - [Roberto] Roberto Smith. - We Trap Kitchen. - This is how I get people to buy my food, man. You know we're not supposed to be sellin food out the house, but we're takin a risk, and we have prosperity. That's what Trap means. Take risk and prosper. Something better, you know, that came from nothin. You know, give somebody some hope. - This is why we run the Trap Kitchen. You can't go nowhere and get lobster, and crab, and shrimp, salmon, tens and $15, yeah, right. With Trap, come get it like that. - Italian food, I have Creole food, I have Mexican food, we have Hawaiian food, we have Soul food. - It's what you want. - Good way to stay off the streets, stay in the kitchen, you know? Always trying to do something positive, have a positive lift onto the community. You know what I'm sayin? Food can stop wars, man. That's better than money, that's better than anything. - This is the holy pineapple grail. - Today it's Pineapple Friday. Everybody knows Pineapple Friday's today. - You guys are posting pictures of food, and then what happens? Then people like text you? - Side Kits in L.A. - [Woman] Um, hello, I would like to place an order. - Instagram-ready. - It's a social media restaurant, underground. You want a delivery, you have to text in. Or, if you wanna come pick up, you call. We screen you. We don't want enemies pullin up. We don't want no negative publicity, none of that. So, we screen everybody. We screened y'all. - I just wanted to offer five star food to people who can't afford it on a regular. - Hi Guys - Best of Beverly Hills here in Compton? - Yeah, right here in Compton. Right to the streets. - Thanks to Trap Kitchen? - Yeah. You see a lot of our homies just get washed up, man. And that's so common around here. We ain't on the corner sellin drugs no more. Got a job to inspire people to do anything but that. 'Cause they takin us away every day. - You a chef man? When you started in the house, what happened in the house with you? - My apartment eventually became the number one Asian Fusion restaurant in all of Los Angeles. Two health department guys show up, and they're like, "We're with the health department." I'm like, "Come right on in." They come in, they start interrogating me, and then they bring out this print out of my twitter feed. - You payword. - May Facebook, everything! They had me really good. I was really thrown off by that. "Do do it again!" I'm like, "Sure, I won't." And I did it again the next day, so. To Deadliest Catch! Can't wait to go to Lake Elsinor with you guys. - [Spanky] Welcome to Lake Elsinor! The heat just turns up out here. You're gotta tap into your skills, your gifts that God gave you. Everybody has a gift, you just gotta tap into it. You gotta find what you are good at. - [Spanky] Stay focused. ♪ Are you ready? ♪ - Hey, so I'm going to the lake. - [Attendant] Okay. - I gotta impress some friends. I need to get some fireworks to make me look really cool. - Right, come in. - [Nguyen] Okay, let's go in. - Alright - [Nguyen] Let's choose some fireworks! The Golden Shower Fountain? - Yes - Oh, dude, the Perfect Show. This is gonna make it happen. - [Attendant] It is the Perfect Show. - I need more stuff, I need more! - This is a pooping dog. - Sir Dumps A Lot. Sir Dumps A Lot, the candy, the eyes. I'm so excited to get all this stuff! - Alright, we're lookin at about 285.17. - What? What? What? Thanks man! - [Attendant] Yeah, have a good one! - Makes me look cool! - [Roberto] Welcome to Lake Elsinor! - [Nguyen] Thanks, guys. - The heat just turns up out here! - [Spanky] The Trap Zone! - [Roberto] You have chicken legs and wings, we got ribs too, Saint Louis style. - [Nguyen] What do you want people to taste when they're eating this? What makes you guys so different than what's on the street? - I just want to complement the meat, without killin' it with sauce, you know? - [Nguyen] But then, you serve barbecue sauce on the side, so they can get some of the sweet there, right? - [Roberto] Yeah, yeah. Don't kill the vibe puttin sauce on the side. Cut the dry cross bone - Oh! - Whoa! Man down! Barbecue! - [Roberto] It's lit, boo! - It's a lit boo out here! - [Nguyen] So why do you cook? - Why? I mean, it's really a piece of mind. I learned that I get lost in it. And get away from all my thoughts, you know, thinkin too much about what's goin on in the world. It don't matter where we at. Spank into the refrigerator. What'cha got? - [Roberto] That's how he's always been. Being a man, you gotta tap into your skills, your gifts that God gave you. Everybody has a gift. You just gotta tap into it. You gotta find what you are good at. - [Spanky] Stay focused. - What people don't know, burnt ends are the ends of the ribs. Lot of meat, and it kinda curves around, and it gets more charred, but it's crunchy and delicious, and I don't know why people throw them out! They're so good! The dry rub, with the smoke is so good. It's amazing how delicious it is. That kid's crying 'cause he ain't sharing that with him. You're greedy, you're greedy, Kenny. - So what's up man, you ready? - I am born ready! - I can't swim, so I gotta make sure these tight. - That's right, hey you goin! These muscles were arm floaties. - [Spanky] Batman and Robin - Yeah! You don't fall off! You all right? - [Spanky] Yeah. - I was so proud of you, man. This is the best moment ever! - We just doin what we doin. There's some good food in front of you, you not worried about beefin right now. You worried about this beef in front of you, right here. You know what I'm sayin? This is where we rock a week. - Shock-a-telly. This trip's for them. And for me. So juicy! - If you love a turnout, we'd love you. You gotta come out, it's summer vacation, baby! We here, next year, we see y'all. It's always a great feelin when there's a good turnout, nothin happens, no violence, nobody start fightin. - But we still got fireworks, guys. You like fireworks? - [Crowd] Whoa! - One last thing before we go. July 4th, 2016. This one's for the kids, for me, Trap Kitchen L.A. Lake Elsinor, Club Dillon! Wicked strong. - [Nguyen] Bienvenidos, amigos, and welcome to Mexico. That's right, we crossed the border. I'm with my good friend, Esdras Ochoa, who makes some of the best tacos in all of Los Angeles. When Es and I first met, he was running an illegal taco stand, in a parking lot, in the middle of downtown. Now, he's super legit. He even has a health permit, and a couple restaurants. But he still takes the time to hang out with me. So, L.A.'s a taco town, you know? Everybody loves your tacos, you see them in every corner. Coming close to being just an American dish, as well. The reason I fell in love with L.A. was 'cause of the diversity. And yet, we couldn't have the kinda tacos I was used to. So when I lost my job in the casino, in 2009, got some coolers, I traded in my car for a truck. Drove it down to Mexicale, and asked my dad, "Hey, Dad, where do you buy all this stuff in Mexicale? "Where all the taqueros buy their stuff?" He's like, "What do you mean? "Why do you need that for?" "You know, I lost my job, you know. "And now, I'm selling tacos on the streets." He looked at me like, "You're crazy. "What are talking about?" Some places where food is delicious, but we take it for granted because we grew up with it. And you take it to somewhere else, which they don't have. People love it. Same thing with tacos here. So, I was really excited to bring L.A. a little bit of my hometown. Here at Mexicali Taco and Company, downtown L.A. Where we do it Baja style. I think it was my calling in life to make tacos. Baja California norte, is North, and Baja California sout, south. And up north, is Mexicale. On the California side, there's a big fence. Calexico is right on the other side of that wall. And that's where I grew up. - [Nguyen] Oh, wow! They're hot! - These are right out of the pan, man! Get little dots from the streets of Baja, like a some races like fiesta special. To me, every element of the taco's important. - Yeah, yeah, si, si. - [Es] Just meat and tortilla, that's your canvas for whatever you want to create. Then, when you start getting into the sauces, it's a whole different world. Don't be scared, don't be scared. You're set! Ready, one, two, three! Very, eyeball, you know? - Eye see, eye see. I see how I am gonna love this. Cheers! - Okay, okay, hang in there. You're doing good. I love going down to Baja. As soon as you get there, you just feel like, "Hey, I can put my guard down. It's time to chill." Being here in the restaurant industry, super, super busy all the time. You always like this, like, "Okay, phones, email." But when I'm down there, all that just fades away. It's gone. - Top of the morning to yah, friend. - [Es] Good morning, sir. - [Nguyen] What we makin, Es? - We're gonna make a delicious breakfast just for you and I. We're cooking over an open fire because it takes me back to my roots, it takes me back to the way we do it back home. When you at an open fire, it really pushes your creativity to how to cook better, what can I throw on directly on the coals, or outside of the coals, on the side, slowly? There's so many ways to cook. - Welcome to Les Goncion, man, in the middle of nowhere. We're down here in Baha California. This is my turf, my man. I got get out here at least once a year, man. This really just refreshens me, and gets... It makes me step back just to realize what I'm doin back home, and the impact that I'm doin, you know? With people around me, and just to make me want to be so much better as soon as I go back. - That's why I love to hate, you're so good! You know, I mean, you're such a good person. I'm, I feel like totally the opposite. - I'll start swearing just for your sake. - No. Everyone loves you for a reason. - We're gonna have a lot of fun, we're gonna go clamming, fishing, kayaking. - It's gonna be the bestest adventure, ever! - [Nguyen] So, Es? - [Es] Yes, sir. - What is the purpose of this? - As soon as I found out, I knew that was for you, man. Every trip we have, that's like a lucky pole, that's a lucky weight. So, it's an honor to give it to you. - It's an honor, or you think I'm not very good, so I need the luck? - More the second option. - Thanks for nothing! ♪ Toma, toma, here's another hit, wha? ♪ ♪ Come on, latinos and philo heads, toma, toma. ♪ - [Es] Nguyen, two zero, Nguyen! - [Nguyen] It's actually three zero, but Vole! ♪ I'm all about my bizness, don't mind me. ♪ ♪ Can't eat flies till is spy don't remind me. ♪ ♪ Got a mouthpiece, think for the mind knees. ♪ ♪ Give 'em my two cents, and now she might dime me. ♪ - That looks like you're drunk, man. - I got one fish, and I threw it back cause it was too small. And I was really proud of that one fish, too, but it was way too small. So these are all trigger fish, right? - These are trigger fish. We call them cochito over here. They're probably one of my favorite fish for sericha down here in Baja. Very proud of you, man. You caught that fish, you fought hard, and I'm happy. - Do I get a gold star? - You get a gold star, and a flan star, just for you, man. - [Es] You're looking for all these little, these little holes coming out of the sand. You have food, beauty, what else you need? This is my favorite beach to go clam digging. You're literally just walking on the sand, kicking around, and they're just all over the place. - Are we really looking for clams, like, right now? Are we doing that? I didn't know if we were just walking and being pretty. - Yes, that's kinda fun. - That's not a dance you have? - You gotta do this dance, man. - The clam dance - It's like two, two and one, You just do a couple turns, and they start popping up everywhere. Nah, you're looking for these little, little holes coming out of the sand. Kinda like this one here. So, usually, just dig up at tops, about half a foot, a foot. And if you don't see 'em, they're usually gone. - Oh, I don't think so. I'm reliving my childhood with my dad. Just constant disappointment. Oh, wait, wait. Did I get one? - [Es] You got the first one of the day, beautiful! That's good luck, we're gonna catch a bunch of 'em now. - Boop! You got a lot of shells, - There you go! - [Nguyen] You get that? - [Es] This is a chipolate. - Where did you get that from? - It was right on the border, man. - On the border? - It was in Mexicale - Yeah, I get it. Oh, thank you! - Oh, come on man! - My chocolate! - This one's a little, right here. It's got more of an bite to none. And now you've got two clams back to back. Different sizes, I'm getting excited, man. I'm looking for the bigger ones. - What is that? - A kingshoo, man. - What is that? - That's the mom we're looking for! - Oh - What? What? No. No. No, you didn't get anything. What? Whoa. Big daddy! - It's a triple. - Okay, they should kiss each other. Make more babies. - We are living the circle of life as we speak, my friend. - Literally. - But, who eats us, then? - Uhhh. - [Es] We're gonna steam our clams here, our chocolates, and our white clams that we caught earlier. We're gonna sink 'em face down, so they get set on these pebbles, pour a little bit of water. In a sense, it's kinda like a ceremony, you know. You see this a lot when they have big parties. Quinceaneras, or weddings. You got some snows, I'll throw in a couple of those. It's kinda like a tradition amongst the local Baja Californianos. Some herbs before I actually cover it. And I'm gonna cover 'em with these bigger, solid rocks over here, on top. We're gonna put another two layers. - [Nguyen] Boom! - [Nguyen] Yeah! - [Es] Love it! - [Es] Doesn't get fresher than this, man! And what's the key to fileting a fish? - The sharpest knives. - [Es] What don't we have? - [Nguyen] Oh, I already know what you don't have. I can tell. - [Es] So we're done. Ready to eat? - Yeah. - How long have you been cooking this? For like 40, 45 minutes or so? - [Es] Yeah, - [Nguyen] Really? - [Es] But time flies when you're having fun. - Um, gonna let them sit there for a little bit. - [Nguyen] Look how big that thing is! - [Es] That's no a tomato! This is our traditional way to cook our salsa. We got some hot coals, we got some fire, it's all you need. You got all the sediment of the ashes, that fall into it. It adds a whole different dimension to a salsa. Bang, the smokiness into it. And that's it. - [Nguyen] That's amazing. - [Es] Simple, but you notice how simple everything is? - [Nguyen] But the simplest things in life are far more common than people think. It's also really easy to mess up the simplest things, to overthink it. - [Es] Yeah, you just kinda sit here, man. Checkin this place out. You got food, beauty, you know, what else do you need? - And your - And you had some crunch. - Sorry, you had a moment. I didn't want to ruin it! - I was about to shed a tear, and you went "Crrrk!" - I'm sitting here, how good this is. Can you blame me? I actually could sit here. I'm glad you quit your day job. I'm glad you became one of my illegal nonagram brethren. - Love you! - Aww! Are you gonna read me that bedtime story now? Are you gonna do that? - I shouldn't tuck you in.

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