Clubbing in L.A. has taken on a whole new meaning, thanks to comedian and food enthusiast Aziz Ansari.
The first episode of the Parks and Recreation actor’s wacky new web series, Food Club, includes him and two fellow funnymen eating out at an invitation-only Los Angeles eatery and also trying a bánh mì, a Vietnamese sandwich made with pork and vegetables.
Ansari and his cohorts, comedian Eric Wareheim (of Tim and Eric), and writer Jason Woliner, pretend they’re captains whose mission is to “sail the world seeking the ultimate bite,” according to the show’s erudite voiceover, though so far they haven’t ventured further than Los Angeles. Fittingly, the trio travel by yacht and sport navy blazers and caps for their dining adventures.
If they like the food at a restaurant, like Michael Voltaggio’s ink., it gets “plaqued” with a tacky bronze-and-wood award. The plaques for “losers” (fortunately, none so far) will be burned in a dramatic show of shame at the restaurant’s doorstep.
Despite the series’ wink-wink tone — Top Chef alum Voltaggio calls the award “a huge honor” — the food is real, and the guys indulge in every bite. At Wolvesmouth, an underground eatery in downtown L.A., the group dined on chef Craig Thornton’s elegant nine-course meal that included rabbit meatballs, pork belly with shrimp and chocolate tofu mousse. Despite a few mock-tense moments — will Woliner staining Wareheim’s shirt with chocolate dessert kill Wolvesmouth’s chance of earning an award? — the restaurant got “plaqued.”
Food-centered antics are nothing new for Ansari, who went on a pasta pilgrimage through Pacific Northwest eateries earlier this month. Maybe we’ll see a Portland-themed Food Club soon?
Watch the first episode of the series below: