Our chefs aren’t psychic but they do have a finger on the pulse of what’s on the horizon for the New Year. From (more) variations of kale and plant-based products to fermentation appearing in different facets, below are some of our chef predictions and food resolutions for 2018.

It’s all about the vegetables, baby.

Yes, you heard it right. Chef CJ Jacobson of Ema tells us that veggie-focused dishes are not going away, rather he plans to get a bit more creative with the vegetable like exploring the varieties of kale: Russian Kale, Purple Kale, Scottish Kale – who knew there were so many different types of kale!

Chef CJ has developed Ema’s new winter menu utilizing these new vegetables, learn more here.

Speaking of plants, plant-based meat substitutes are gettin’ even hotter in 2018.

“I’m very interested in working with unprocessed plant-based meat substitutes, specifically green jackfruit and raw cashews.– Divisional Chef Ben Goodnick – Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra

Impossible Burger cut in half with sweet potato fries.
Summer House Santa Monica’s Impossible Burger

M Burger is also featuring the Impossible Burger.

Chef/ Partner John Chiakulas at Beatrix agrees that vegan eating will grow in popularity this year.

“I also think we are going to see a lot more fermented items. Sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles,” says Goodnick.

Calamari from Summer House with a lime wedge

Gochujang (red chili paste) is a good example. A savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment made from gochutgaru, glutinous rice, mejutgaru, yeotgireum and salt that chef uses in spicy mayo that accompanies calamari at Summer House.

Comfort food will never go out of style.

Wildfire’s Executive Chef / Partner Joe Decker says that “With the healthy trend towards lighter eating, people will want to splurge. Think more slow braised meats, mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables and rich desserts. These comfort foods will never go away, just enjoyed in smaller portions.”

Here is a list of some of our favorite vegetarian comfort foods at our restaurants.

Delivery and carry-out only restaurants are here to stay.

“In 2018, consumers won’t have to choose between quality and convenience when it comes to their dining choices. The boom in delivery and carry-out only restaurants will continue to grow not only because it gives our guests the opportunity to get great food, fast and right to their couch, but also because it gives restaurants the opportunity to increase sales and spread product awareness,” says Bill Nevruz, Partner of Seaside’s.

Three treys one with grilled lobster one with ribs and a side of pickles and one with fried chicken.
Seaside’s To-Go

We asked a couple of our booze experts to weigh in to tell us what we’ll be drinkin’ this year.

Clarified Spirits
Kevin Beary, Beverage Director of Three Dots and a Dash, re-imagines classic tiki cocktails by breaking down the molecular structure of spirits and juices to change the appearance. Kevin created the Idle Hands Do The Devils Work with clarified banana rum, cane sugar, lime, a clear banana daiquiri!

Clear cocktail with a flower on the side

We also asked our chefs if there are any trends they’d like to say “buh bye” to in 2018…

Avocado Toast

Jairo Chavez, Executive Chef, Beatrix: “Hate to say it, and it is a dish on our menu, but avocado toast!”

John Chiakulas, Chef Partner, Beatrix: “Say goodbye to Charcuterie, as well as pork belly dishes.” 

If one of your resolutions is to eat healthier this year, we’ve got your guide on how to get started here.

Perhaps one of your resolutions is to drink less booze, we can help with these delicious mocktail recipes.