Signature Kitchen at Macy’s South Coast Plaza

You’ve all heard the term, too many cooks in the kitchen. Can that be a bad thing? I think in some cases collaboration can be a wonderful thing. I find work much easier (and enjoyable) when collaborating with my peers. Does the same ring true in a kitchen though? Take the Signature Kitchen at the South Coast Plaza for example. Three Chefs, three menus, all in one café on the bottom floor of the Macy’s Home Store. The restaurant was a little difficult to track down. For those of you who have never been the mall is enormous. But finally after checking the map a couple of times we arrived at the Home Store.

The Signature Kitchen, Silverton, Samuelsson and Cora head shots welcome you.

The Signature Kitchen, Silverton, Samuelsson, and Cora head shots welcome you.

3 menus, one cafe...

3 menus, one cafe...

Cat Cora’s Cue, Marcus Samuelsson Burger, and Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery all together. Think of it as a gourmet food court. In other words, you’re paying a premium price for food coming out of a café in a department store. I know Nancy can cook, and has successfully branded her bakery into malls and airports across So Cal, so I wanted to try Cat Cora’s first stab at a restaurant and Samuelsson’s attempt at an eclectic take on the quintessential American meal.

Cora’s BBQ infuses classic barbeque with flavors from around the world. Think Asian Hoisin and Green Gaucho Chile Sauce combined with classic beef brisket, pulled pork smoked chicken, and shrimp.

The twelve dollar portion of pulled pork is somewhat small, and the pork itself was slightly dry. To cope with this they give you a wide selection of BBQ sauces. Most of which were either too watery, or so thick you couldn’t get them to pour out of those self serve bottles.

The whole aspect of the self serve BBQ sauces is off putting, for the same reason I dislike anything “buffet” style. I suspect most people haven’t washed their hands before handling the said sauces, and although they do give small spoons for tasting, I just don’t trust most people to be courteous and actually use them.

The beans had a unique flavor, slightly over sweet, but again were watery like the sauces, and included a strange selection of garbanzo, kidney and pinto beans. The slaw was tangy with a nice kick, non-traditional made with cucumber and a mix of red and white cabbages.

Cora's BBQ pulled pork.

Cora's BBQ pulled pork.

The Marc Burger menu consists of a turkey, beef, buffalo, veggie, signature prime burger, and a mini Kobe burger. We stick with the classic beef and order it with white cheddar for $8.50. The seasoning was a nice blend of salt and spices, the bun fresh, with good quality meat, but was way overcooked. They don’t ask how you want it cooked, but I suppose if you ask, they may back off on the cooking time a bit.

The burger is served with a side of slightly tangy and sweet homemade pickles. The fries were tasty, served with a house made spicy ketchup that was more tangy than spicy and inevitably ignored as we preferred good old fashioned catsup.

Marcus Samuelsson's take on the classic hamburger isn't all that unique.

Marcus Samuelsson's take on the classic hamburger isn't all that unique.

Ultimately it wasn’t worth the extra money (especially with the serving sizes) over the other quick casual choices in the mall like Lawry’s Carvery, CPK, Vie de France, Wolfgang Pucks, or even a burger at Ruby’s. But if you’re curious and want something a little more unique than the other mall offerings it’s worth a shot. Not to mention you can pick up a little something for your own kitchen on the way out.

Signature Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Author:Matt Mitchell

A lover of everything LA has to offer, Matt created Dig Lounge to tell his friends about all the fun things to do in the city. Matt has worked in the dot com world since 1996, including some of the top online entertainment companies and digital marketing firms. He currently works as a Digital Producer.

2 Responses to “Signature Kitchen at Macy’s South Coast Plaza”

  1. February 3, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Given those three [chef] choices, I would have selected the La Brea grilled cheese with marinated onions and whole grain mustard. I’m sure it was on the menu. I had the pleasure of preparing and serving that sandwich many times at Campanile. It finally drove me to get a Panini press. What is Marcus “Aquavit” Samuelsson doing adding yet another burger to the LA food scene? I could see that in New York but not LA…

  2. Matt Mitchell
    February 4, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    Yes, you are probably right on the sandwich, but how was I to know?!?!?!