Travel Journal


A little while ago, restaurants started serving vegetables. Not in the way they used to serve vegetables - as the desultory accompaniment to a plate of 'proper' food, or the sad dish left to sulk on the side - but vegetables as the star of the show. Vegetables as the main event. Vegetables as the component around which all other ingredients are arranged.

Nowhere is this shift better illustrated than at Roy Choi's brand new spot Commissary - a sunshine-soaked greenhouse on the second floor of The Line Hotel. The food here pays a much more subtle homage to marijuana culture than the haute munchies served at POT downstairs: At Commissary, green is very much the theme of the menu, but it takes the form of charred broccolini, lightly sauteed bok choi, and tender black bass with buttery green peas (much of which is doused in the same verdant sauce of basil, garlic, avocado, garlic and olive brine). There's also yellow (grilled corn with kochukaru), red and orange (a decadent heirloom tomato confit), pink (radishes with chiles and lemon), and even brown (a super-crispy schnitzel, for the rainbow food-averse).

Commissary is heavy on Choi's signature kitschy quirks - cocktails served in plastic deli containers; Hello Kitty napkins - but there's no doubt that this is a restaurant for grown ups: The type of grown ups who can appreciate the lush, sexy, interior design job from Choi's longtime collaborator Sean Knibb, who can get down with a blaring soundtrack of '90s hip hop, and who definitely don't need to be told to eat their vegetables.