There's a part in Jesus is Magic where Sarah Silverman, trying to counter the stereotype that Jewish women aren't sexy, sultrily describes slipping into a slinky negligee, then breaks into a ridiculous, flailing "hoydel-doydel" song and dance.
Can you think of a more hoydel-doydel name for a restaurant than The Gorbals? The whatnow?
The Gorbals is the new restaurant of Ilan Hall, former Top Chef winner and Scottish-Israeli New Yorker. When I first heard the name, I had to snicker at his folly, but when I read about the restaurant's namesake -- the neighborhood in Scotland where Ilan's dad grew up among a diversity of poor, outcast immigrant groups -- its unsexiness became lovable. Then when I heard what the restaurant would be serving: "old Jewish food date-raped by bacon," I was totally smitten. Admittedly, my fascination is more about cleverness than deliciousness; after all, Ashkenazi food doesn't exactly strike me as haute cuisine, but then again, Ilan won Top Chef -- obviously he knows some things about food.
This place is not open yet (though according to Eater LA, it should be opening within the week), but apparently there was a preview a few nights ago. Manischewitz flowed and irreverent bacon-wrapped matzoh balls rolled. And, thank goodness, Ilan's beautiful bubbe was in the house.
The Gorbals is at 501 South Spring St. downtown. Opening soon.