David Haskell, managing partner/wine director (right) of 8945 BIN with Bartender Damian Windsor
Sommeliers from other dining destinations flock to BIN 8945 to play the “blind tasting” game: outguessing each other from Haskell’s eclectic list of 50 wines by the glass – or perhaps diving into his comprehensive 450-bottle selections, where every major wine producing region is represented.
Executive Chef Matt Carpenter’s Caribbean roots included handed-down recipes such as Jamaican Jerk chicken with Mom’s peas and rice. North Africa and European influence abounds and delicacies arrive in style (the house-cured salt cod brandade or pan roasted mussels with house-made Italian sausage in a deliriously exotic/tropical coconut curry sauce).
Carpenter was a former sous chef at Barcar in San Francisco and at Josie in Santa Monica.
The Chef’s table resides center stage, between the bar and the kitchen, instead of inside or near the kitchen. Why? “We like to surprise our guests,” answered Haskell. “We’ll continue to bring out dish after dish to savor and taste them on unique wines. Plus, they get to watch the action at the bar. But, I want every guest to try something new every time they come in, to taste food they’ve never eaten before and discover wine they’ve never drunk before.”
Serving ‘til 1:45 am, West Hollywood’s BIN 8945 (the name derives from the street address on Santa Monica Boulevard), with its outdoor patio and narrowly cozy inside, is space well used: candlelit at night and sun pouring through skylights by day, you can return many times, always something new to try, and never have to lament, “BIN there, done that.” – M.M.
Smoked Country Quail with Haitian grits, peach compote and mustard greens