Just one day after Rex Tillerson was fired as Secretary of State in a major White House administration shake up, the restaurant world was shocked to learn that Chi Spacca, the third eatery on the beloved Los Angeles corner of Nancy Silverton, was getting a shake up of it own.
On Wednesday, Silverton ordered assistant general manager Greer "Shucker" Rosenzweig to "get out and say out" and then, in what is being called the culinary equal of Tillerson's firing, demoted chef Ryan DeNicola to Mozza2Go cashier and sous Joseph Tagorda to "Garnish Cook",, a position usually held by interns.
Monday, a Washington Post investigation revealed that Chi Spaaca had been ranked the 313th best restaurant in Los Angeles. When told the news, both DeNicola and Tagorda seemed overwhelmed with joy. DeNicola even went so far as to publicly "thank the Academy". The two, along with three line cooks, posed for a photo to celebrate.
But, Nancy Silverton was found no cause for celebration. Outrage was more her mood The only person to win the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in America and Outstanding Pastry Chef in America ordered an immediate internal investigation and, in the words of a close friend, "was not playing."
"Nancy may seem all mellow and sweet to the public, " said the friend who spoke on the condition of anonymity, "But, when the fast balls come, she can swing as hard as Roberto Clemente."
Spacca is best known for large cuts of meats grilled before patrons as well as a lineup of vegetarian dishes that would please a extremist vegan. The Trip Advisor rating was largely puzzling to those who know good restaurants. Even Joel Robuchon, the most honored chef in the world, was baffled.
"Chi Spacca is my fourth favorite restaurant in all of America after Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza and Atelier Crenn, " said Robuchon, who restaurants have 32 Michelin stars. ( Not a typo.) "If there were 312 restaurants better than Spacca in Los Angeles, I would have to be cooking at 309 of them."
As for the sacking of assistant general manager Greer "Shucker" Rosenzweig, Mozza spokesperson Kate Elizabeth Green said she had left voluntarily to purse a career as an oyster shucker in New England. However, insiders said Shucker was "let go for undisclosed reasons."
To further make the connection with Tillerson, who learned of his fate via Twitter, DeNicola was informed of his demotion by a reporter from the Post. Uncharacteristically, the normal pleasant DeNicola unloaded on the reporter. Security footage obtained by the Los Angeles Times shows an angry DeNicola screaming at the reporter to "Get the hell out of here. Go eat at the Pizzeria. At least they're ranked 41."