It seems pop-up restaurants have replaced food trucks when it comes to good testing grounds for a potential full-scale concept. Pop-ups come in all forms, from chefs helping their chef friends make cameos and present special dinners, to hotels switching their dining rooms into different concepts and underground dinner hosts setting up shop in old warehouses, galleries, event halls, parking lots and other alternative spaces.
last year unveiled Viento, a pop-up restaurant that can periodically change to showcase different concepts through menu and design developments. By day, Breeze serves breakfast and lunch, but by night Viento, the current pop-up concept, serves a dinner menu inspired by Mexican, South American and Brazilian cuisine and led by a rotating roster of Hyatt Century City chefs with oversight from executive chef Felix Nappoly.The Hyatt Regency Century City in Los Angeles
Building off of the existing footprint and mid-century modern style, designers incorporated a 1950s/60s color palette with retro orange, grey, teal and yellow accents and introduced staging and lighting that could be retracted or put away for breakfast and lunch service. Hundreds of votive lights create a Latin cathedral or grand square appearance, while enhanced lighting on the garden patio — including orange pendant lanterns hung from a banyan tree — gives a breezy, romantic
California atmosphere that diners seek.
Pop-up restaurants showed an 8 percent increase in trend growth on the National Restaurant Association’s Movers & Shakers list for 2016. According to the association’s What’s Hot survey, nearly 60 percent of respondents say they’re still a viable trend.
Key equipment items for many pop-ups include sous-vide machines, induction cooktops and other smaller, countertop pieces. The culinary team might also use insulated coolers to make last minute adaptations to the existing kitchen, similar to a catering setup.
Photos courtesy of Hyatt Century City