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Inside Chef Anne Conness’ New Restaurant In Los Angeles

BY JERRY ALONZO LEON

Sausal LA chef

When you visit Southern California, indulging in a delicious Mexican meal is a must. This summer, Chef Anne Conness opened Sausal in Los Angeles’ El Segundo area. The new restaurant carries a “Nuevo Rancho”-style concept highlighting gold, earthy flavors of Mexican cuisine. Here, she’s giving us the inside scoop on starting a soul satisfying restaurant. 

Where does the name Sausal come from and what it means?

Sausal is named after Rancho Sausal Redondo (Round Willow Ranch), the vast farmstead that once encompassed El Segundo and most of the South Bay. The name honors the memory of a fun loving, down-to-earth authenticity reaching back to when her residents enjoyed communal feasts and danced the fandago around an open fire under the stars.

Sausal LA complete bar

What makes ‘Nuevo Rancho’ style of cooking unique and how does it differ from traditional Mexican cuisine?

At Sausal we blend traditional Hispanic ingredients with contemporary farmers’ market fare. The menu borrows inspiration from the foundational elements of Rancho cooking: Wood fire, Smoke, and slow roasting; it celebrates the bold flavors of Mexican cuisine in combination with the elemental flavors of Spain – citrus, olives, figs – that were brought here by the missionaries.

Local ingredients from Southern California play an important role in your restaurant.  How has the region influenced or impacted your vision of ‘Nuevo Rancho’ cooking?

Our cuisine is based on local Native American foods, such as black walnuts, blackberries, pine nuts, chia seeds, prickly pear, as well as the foods that were brought here by the Spanish and Mexican people — that were planted and thrived in the Southern California climate. The Spanish brought figs, pears, olives and citrus; the Mexicans brought pumpkin, tomatoes, corn and chilis. The bounty of our contemporary farmers market is directly related to the missionaries and early Californios of Alta California. 

Sausal LA interior restaurant 1

If you could describe Sausal with only three words, what would they be and why?

Soul Satisfying Food. I believe that Mexican cuisine, whether traditional or modern, is without a doubt the Comfort Food of Southern California.

Have any of your past travel experiences inspired you in your style of cuisine?

Travel is vitally important to all chefs — especially for those of us who grew up without a strong tradition of cooking inside the home. I wish I had had an “abuela” at home to teach me the secrets of the past, but I didn’t. So instead, I have traveled and learned by talking with people. I have found that no matter where I go — people love to share their history and that is always inextricably linked to their cuisine.  Just by showing enthusiasm and respect, people will open their homes, their kitchens, their world to you.

Sausal LA interior

What does being a jetsetter mean to you?

A jetsetter does not go places just to see the sights and trundle back onto the tour bus; instead a traveler engages with the outside world — and stands still long enough to see, to listen, to smell.

Sasual is located at 219 Main St., El Segundo, CA  90245. For more information, visit www.sausal.com.

Sausal LA restaurant

What do you think of this new restaurant in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments.

Photos: Sausal
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Categories: Foodies

Author:Jetset Times

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One Comment on “Inside Chef Anne Conness’ New Restaurant In Los Angeles”

  1. Belinda Schoonover
    October 6, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    Sounds incredible…love me some Mexican!! When I get to that area I will stop in!!! Went to school with Terry and follow you girls and your food escapades!! Lots of luck in your new venture!!! 😄

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