Credited with cooking up some of the finest New England style lobster rolls on the West Coast, chefs and owners Chloe Dahl and Nikki Booth of Silverlake's Knuckle & Claw got their start working farmers markets throughout LA. Faced with a growing customer base and an increasing demand, Dahl and Booth decided to open a storefront where they could serve their delicious rolls, as well as other East Coast specialties such as clam chowder and whoopie pies, year round. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the storefront was formed and the duo opened the doors to Knuckle & Claw in mid-March.
The simple yet intriguing New England style flavors quickly caught on amongst Angelenos and diners continue to flock to the seafood shack to get their fill of the perfectly buttery rolls. In addition to their commitment to serving only the most delicious food, the entirety of the seafood served by Knuckle & Claw is also certified sustainable and is sourced entirely from the United States and Canada, a commitment Dahl and Booth take very seriously.
While the restaurant has only been open for less than a year, it is already making waves within both the LA and national culinary scene. Just two months ago, both Dahl and Booth were named to Zagat's 30 Under 30 list of culinary talent to watch. The duo plans to open a West Side location of the concept in the near future.
Below, we ask the chefs six quick questions.
Foodable: What’s the first meal (that you can recall) that changed your life?
Chloe Dahl: I was six years old and let myself into the backdoor of our neighbors house. It was early and everyone was still asleep. I found their leftover lobster and helped myself to a massive pre-breakfast meal. Cold, early morning lobster - It’s hard to beat.
Nikki Booth: Shrimp tacos, I was at a pool party at my family friend’s house and they were the most amazing tacos I have ever had. I was 10 years old.
Foodable: Who is one person that you would love to cook for (that you haven’t already)?
CD: My grandmother, Patricia Neal. She would have clapped her hands together so loudly if she could have tasted our lobster roll. She loved me and she loved food so I really couldn’t think of a better meal to share with a more wonderful person.
NB: My restaurant entrepreneurship professor at UH, I’m pretty sure he hated me. It was my final semester of college and I was in a long distance relationship with Chloe and she would visit me constantly so I was always missing his class which drove him nuts. I don’t think he knows we opened a restaurant but he had a big influence on me and I hope one day I can relay that to him and prove that when I actually showed up to class I was listening attentively!
Foodable: Who is your culinary mentor?
CD: My mother. Best cook in the world and has taught me everything I know.
NB: Definitely my mom. My dad is an extremely picky eater so every time he would go out of town, mom and I would geek out in the kitchen and make all the things my dad would never eat even if you paid him.
Foodable: Where is your favorite restaurant to eat at when you aren’t working?
CD: Hirozen. Hands down, best sushi in LA.
NB: Oh man that’s a difficult one! Unfortunately it’s in New York, Ipudo - it’s a ramen joint. I’ve been trying all the ramen places around LA but Ipudo in NYC is still my favorite.
Foodable: One ingredient you could not live without?
CD: Butter. Butter. Butter.
Foodable: What's the most important lesson you learned (good or bad) in your first year of owning a restaurant?
CD & NB: If it were easy, everyone would do it.