Social Cena Hosts Special 4/20 Dinner
Lots of great stories begin with a garage, but what about a backyard or a kitchen? Apple, Google, Disney, and Amazon all started in garages.
Photo by Ray Sevilla Table set for a social gathering.
Sear'N Gears has decided to take this same approach with a company that its progenitor, Aleric "AJ" Constantin, hopes to turn into a restaurant (empire). For that, the chef last month used his house, which happens to be a residential/commercial property, and his good friends and fellow artists to kick off the first of many pop-up dinners dubbed "Social Cena." The series continues this month with a special 4/20 dinner Sunday night, followed by a 4/20 Zombie Savior afterparty where guests can digest their six-course dinner and cocktail pairing with beats and dancing.
Also in the kitchen is longtime friend Camilo Blanco, who works with Constantin at Mandolin Aegean Bistro, as well as a local artist, bartender, and DJ bringing something different to the table each and every month. For the 4/20 occasion, Jorge Breeze is the local artist, and the bartender is a surprise, but we do have the skinny on the menu. We also attended last month's inaugural Social Cena.
People love cheese, especially when they're stoned. "Ain't Easy Being Cheesy" will cover all the cheesy bases. A play on the usual cheese plate, it's loaded with "pot-zza" bites (a play on pizza bites with hemp dough, Manchego, chorizo ,and "sativa salt"), quesadillas, and mozzarella sticks (with breading made using Funyons). Mac 'n' Cheetos features pork cheeks with the puffed cheese snacks, while popcorn grits is a play on Easter, which falls on 4/20 this year. This dish fuses rabbit, a slow-poached Easter egg, and cocoa into one. There are also fish tacos and PB&J fried chicken. And for dessert, there's "Hot-Boxed" ice cream. How exactly do you hot-box ice cream? Smoke it in Purple Urkle and cover it with a glass box-shaped dome. Once it's lifted, you'll be sure to get a nice whiff and also the munchies.
At last month's event, Louis Salgar of the Broken Shaker set up his bar station on AJ's bicycle and concocted three cocktails for the evening that paired perfectly with dinner. Local artist GG was one of the guests in attendance as well as the artist, decking out AJ's backyard wall with his rendition of the cycling chef (his bike already got GG's trademark months ago) and also bringing some additional art for décor.
Talk about extreme concentration. Camilo is in awe of these mouthwatering local tomatoes. Notice the precision with the tweezers to plate the basil perfectly on the bread. This dish is a rendition of the Spanish classic pan con tomate. Tomatoes, black garlic, basil, and olive oil on sourdough make it exquisitely simple. Louis served a sbagliato to go alongside the first course of the meal. Campari, vermouth, and sparkling wine combine in a perfect mixture to cleanse the palate.