Thank You For Coming
Francisco de Goya, Still Life With Fruit, Bottles, Breads, c.1824-1826 (detail)
“Cooking is an art, but you eat it too.” The well-spoken words of veteran cookbook writer and Italian nonna Marcella Hazan could be part of an informal mission statement for Atwater Village-based experimental space Thank You For Coming. The space, which is designated by the LA County Department of Health as a restaurant, is a concept operation, founded with the notion that joining together art and food are one of the best ways to inspire a community to be communally creative. Thank You For Coming is staffed by volunteers and serves lunch and dinner every Wednesday through Sunday, with a menu that changes daily according to the ingredients that the space might have on hand. The menu is also dictated by the artist residencies that the space supports — past residencies include a stint reincarnating The Source Family’s restaurant, a 1970s communal living experiments that produced one of LA’s first true health food restaurants, and a period of exploring feast and famine entitled The Heretics’s Kitchen. Visitors to TYFC at this time may have experienced a Famine day (with historic, inexpensive peasant staples), a Feast day (recipes culled from historic Old-World folk menus), or even a Dye day (not food at all but a lesson in the art of Indigo dyeing).
This month, Thank You For Coming hosts Jason Metcalf, a mixed media artist whose concept is one of the strangest and most fascinating yet: Special Meal, a menu based on death row prisoners’ requests for last meals before…well, before The End. The press release states, “If you were given the opportunity to choose your last meal, what would it be? Would your choice be rooted in nostalgia, memory, comfort, or pleasure? What other factors would contribute to your decision? Most of us aren’t granted this choice, as we don’t know when or where our final moments will take place. There is one group of individuals where this is not the case –those who have been condemned to death by the state.
“For the month of August, Jason Metcalf and Thank You For Coming will prepare, fulfill and serve special meal requests of death row prisoners, both of well-known and unknown individuals — and including meals that were served prior to execution.”
Thank You For Coming hosts lunch from 11am – 3pm and dinner from 6pm – 10pm, Wednesday through Sunday.