Valencian Gold Catering
Mushroom-Chickpea Vegan Paella – Bomba Rice, Baby Bellas, Chickpeas, French Beans (served with Tahini-Black Garlic Aioli)
Paella Valenciana – Chicken, Bomba Rice, Giant White Beans, Romano Beans (served with Lemon-Garlic Aioli)
Toppings – Cucumber-Pepper Salad, Marinated Tomatoes, Lemon Wedges, Pickled Onions, Crispy Chorizo, Shaved Fennel, Za’atar Spice Beets
Olive Oil Cake – Kumquats, Candied Fennel Syrup, Crema
Located in the Southwest Marketplace off Rainbow Boulevard, within eyeshot of Gelatology, Valencian Gold describes itself as the World’s first “Spanish fast-casual” concept, and with Chefs Paras Shah and Jeffrey Weiss citing experience at Jaleo as well as El Bulli the Restaurant seeks to do for Paella what Chipotle did to the Burrito.
Formerly Kulinarya Express Filipino Kitchen, the conversion nearly turnkey save for spruced up décor and neon emblazoned “Paella for the People,” it is upon entry that guests will find clean lines and simple instructions, one of four “base” Rice or Greens used to build a bowl topped with Meat, Vegetables, Dips and Dressings.
Part of the expanding southwest since July, and fast to earn accolades with quality and customization at a fair price, it was as part of #supportlocal lunch that both Paras and Jeffrey arrived at the office fifteen minutes early on Tuesday, everything in place and ready to eat as staff arrived with inquisitive looks since it was the first experience with Spanish Cuisine for many.
Benefitted by their combined training, both Chefs previously awarded an Institute of Culinary Education scholarship to train in Spain, it was after a brief explanation that diners began customizing their own plates, Paella Valenciana at first proving more popular than its vegan counterpart, though the trend slowly reversed with each sampled equally as word spread around the office.
Cooked slow and traditionally, both pans developing proper Socarrat across the bottom, it was after tasting both styles that the first of two plates were assembled, both Za’atar Spice Beets and housemade Chorizo Bacon Bits exemplary regardless of where they were added while Lemon-Garlic Aioli outperformed Black Garlic that was a touch overwhelming.
Additionally offering Jamon y Queso, Croquetas and Patatas Bravas on-site, plus housemade Desserts built to travel, it was after another plate of Paella Valenciana with plenty of crispy bits that sweets took center-stage, the lemony Snickerdoodle fluffy and graciously not dried out like so many while Olive Oil Cake was exquisite on its own, but more so when topped with Cream, Kumquats and fragrant Fennel Syrup.
N/A: Making it blog policy to not ‘rate’ places based on catering alone, Chefs Shah and Weiss have created something unique and delicious with Valencian Gold, and although the location may not be convenient to some the flavor and price point combined with unparalleled customization deliver fully on the Restaurant’s goal of making Paella more accessible to the general public.
RECOMMENDED: Mushroom-Chickpea Vegan Paella, Paella Valenciana, Marinated Tomatoes, Crispy Chorizo, Za’atar Spice Beets, Olive Oil Cake, Spanish Snickerdoodle.
AVOID: Tahini-Black Garlic Aioli is overwhelming.
TIP: Open 11a-9p Monday through Saturday and 12p-7p on Sunday, with online delivery from all the usual suspects or professional catering through www.valenciangoldcatering.com.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.