Skip to main content
  1. Leisure
  2. Food & Drink
  3. Restaurants

Part 1 of 2: Chef Vartan Abygaryan of Cliff’s Edge

See also

First part of two parts, please click hyperlink at bottom to continue to the next part

More Photos

With many restaurant customers becoming more adventurous in Los Angeles due to pop-ups and other new chef driven concepts pushing the envelope, more established restaurants – often with new chefs- are now refining their menus to appeal to these more adventuresome consumers. One such restaurant, Cliff’s Edge at the end of 2012 recently added Chef Vartan Abgaryan to their kitchen. Chef Abgaryan with Cliff’s Edge’s owners’ encouragement is now putting some very distinctive items on its menu (see related story). In his cooking on this menu, Abgaryan’s upbringing and training are reflected in his food which includes seasonally fresh ingredients and things that taste good to him that Vartan believes his patrons will enjoy too.

In 1991 Abgaryan’s entire family moved from Armenian to North Hollywood shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union when Abgaryan was nine years of age. Growing up in an Armenian household in Southern California, Vartan was exposed not only to his family’s cooking but also to the wide variety of cuisine in this region. Thus things that taste good to this chef include flavors from his ancestry and his environment as well as his later training at Cordon Bleu in Vegas and the other restaurants he’s worked in as line, sous and executive chefs including Andre’s and Lutece in Vegas, the late Red Pearl Kitchen, A Restaurant in Newport Beach, and his last prior stop Public Kitchen & Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

According to Vartan, Armenian food due to a history of dislocation is diluted. His family originally left Armenia due to the Turkish genocide before returning to Armenia after World War II. When they returned, they brought back cooking affected by both Greek and Lebanese influences. Abgaryan incorporates a few of these ingredients like lebni, za’atar and sumac into some of his dishes so his California cuisine centered around fresh ingredients does on occasion have a slight Armenian twist. Though again since Abgaryan has been here so long, he’s been affected by so many different ingredients, flavors, and cuisines.

Immediately prior to joining Cliff’s Edge, Vartan enjoyed working at his last position. as executive chef of Public Kitchen & Bar. This position was one of many he worked at under the direction of Tim Goodell. Given Public Kitchen’s customer base, however Vartan felt he had topped out with what he could do menu wise in this hotel restaurant environment that shared its cooking line with room and pool side service.

So a change of scenery where he could focus, and develop was an opportunity he could not pass up.

End of Part 1; please click here for Part 2 to continue
====================

Comments

Advertisement

Leisure

  • Corned beef
    Find out how to prepare a classic corned beef recipe in a slow cooker
    Video
    Slow Cooker Tips
  • Left handed eating
    Find out why you should never eat with your left hand
    Video
    Wives Tale
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Video
    Subway Message
  • Deviled eggs
    This is the only deviled egg recipe you’ll need this Easter
    Delicious Eggs
  • Natural solutions
    Natural beauty: All natural solutions to life's little beauty headaches
    Camera
    Natural Solutions
  • Chocolate souffle
    Love chocolate? Get tips on making the perfect chocolate souffle every time
    Video
    Recipe 101

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!