Last night Govind Armstrong hosted a reception at his restaurant Table 8 for his new cookbook "Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties." Of course I felt immediately guilty that I don't have friends over for cozy little small plates gatherings where I'd just throw a few quail on the barbie or sear some Kobe beef and whip up a plate of mini Yorkshire puddings to go with. But there are plenty of simpler small plates alongside the more ambitious dishes, and I'll take a creamsicle cocktail and a carrot cake with cream cheese mousse right now, thank you very much.
Govind, a Valley boy who has an amazing cooking pedigree starting with interning at Spago at 13 and continuing at City Restaurant and many more, told me his Miami Table 8 restaurant is a whole experience for cooking for L.A. diners, many of whom are happy to eat dinner at 6 p.m. Miami diners like to drink, he says, and in keeping with the Latin influence, they eat much later. Although the restaurant is in a hotel, no one wakes up in time for breakfast and the late night schedule can be rough on the staff.
I hadn't been to Table 8 since the remodel and it's much darker and sultrier, which should be a good backdrop to Armstrong's new late night small plates menu, available until 1 a.m.
We chatted with Armstrong's manager about possibly taking him to TV -- she was hoping for a beachside, shirtless cooking show -- but the hunky chef hasn't yet decided on a theme.