Soul Food

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Even from outside, you are thanked for your appearance at the new Los Angeles restaurant where “Thank You For Coming” is emblazoned across the front windows. Thank You For Coming is an experimental food and art space with a rotation of artists (and musicians) that participate in month-long residencies creating a collaborative space within the typical restaurant structure. For example, the band Japanther is currently holding court with a “69¢ Only” store in the form of a mid-1930s, Art Deco-inspired automat that accepts tokens. In additon, there is an entire menu of food priced at 69¢ cents. Some offerings from Japanther include Kale Adobo soup, fried rice balls, deconstructed potato salad, polenta and tea eggs.

japantherslim

Japanther’s Automat Tokens

Tea Egg

69¢ Tea Egg by Japanther

In January, the artist Jennifer June Strawn held a residency called “Superstition and Sustenance” where potatoes and cabbage, or black-eyed peas for instance, were served as a protection against evil, drawn from traditional practices involving ritual and food. Strawn produced a book in conjunction with her residency filled with drawings of superstitions that were crowd-sourced from visitors.

This is definitely not the first time that art and food have merged. It brings to mind Gordon Matta-Clark, the American artist who operated the New York restaurant Food, curating a cast of characters with seasonal produce in an open kitchen- practices that while standard today were unheard of back then.

Considering the idea of community is so strong, there is no person/s specifically attached to the concept space. However, with some fishing on the internet it seems that a group of four people have set the place up, going through the proper channels of creating a business plan, securing funding, restaurant permits, and passing Health Department inspections. The space itself is also a communal affair, with donated furniture and carpentry. Behind the space, the crew has begun a milk-crate garden where they hope to source ingredients in the near future. All of this means Thank You For Coming is no flash-in-the pan and is intending to stay put as a permanent restaurant/artist residency program. They are currently accepting applications on their website.

Here is their Kickstarter video, which was already funded, but it is so cute I am putting it up here anyway:

Thank You For Coming is located at 3416 Glendale Blvd in Los Angeles, California. They are open from Wednesday–Sunday for lunch from 11am – 3pm and for dinner from 6pm – 10pm.

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