Inside Secret Supper Club’s $295 L.A. weed dinner

What does it feel like to sit down to a $295 per person, 10 course, gourmet, weeded dinner? We don’t know either. That’s how we found ourselves on a Tuesday night in late spring, put our feet under the table at Chris “the Herbal Chef” Sayegh’s Secret Dinner Club, and embarked on a journey of discovery. World-breaking, time-traveling, historically-inspired, horizon-widening none of us will soon forget – even though we can’t recall it clearly either.

Before diving into the fascinating details of our edible adventure (composited from hastily-written notes and audio recordings), there are a few things you should know. First, it’s a members-only situation because it’s not legal in California to sell processed, marijuana-infused foods, but to sell THC-based foods like chewing gum, cookies, or junk food. drink yes. (You can sign up for a membership, for $1,000, through the Herbal Chef website, then pay for the dinners separately. For the purposes of this story, we’ve been granted membership. one night only.)

Second, they’re serious about the secrecy, right down to the password you’ll be given in your confirmation email (ours is MK Ultra, a nod to the CIA LSD mind control experiments) in the 1950s and 60s). That’s because the monthly meal isn’t served in the same Santa Monica space that would normally be at Sayegh’s Nostalgia Bar & Lounge on a night it’s not open to the public.

Third, you can choose your own adventure, THC-wise. Before you begin, you will be asked for your preferred dose, which will be divided among the seven savory dishes of the meal (the CBD-only dessert). You can go anywhere from 0 milligrams — and yes, there are indeed guests that go that route — to infinity and beyond. Ganja food lovers who choose to eat more than 50 milligrams are asked to sign a disclaimer and hope they don’t operate any heavy machinery after the meal. One of us chose 10 milligrams of infusion, the other chose 50 milligrams — in the name of science, of course.

“I’ve had someone make 500 milligrams,” our server told us after being seated. Our mouths drop. “She is completely fine. I trusted her to drive me around downtown LA. Everyone is different. “

Sayegh has hosted dinners like this for years, often in private homes or random industrial sites around town. He says they were born out of a desire to define the plant and reverse what he has seen happening in the cannabis-food-meeting space.

“When we founded the Secret Supper Club, it was really revenge for what was happening in our industry and how many people had to close down after 10 to 15 years of putting their heart and soul into creating [it]”, he said, ‘so we don’t really have a theme – other than rebellion. “

A smiling chef with a beard and apron brought a plate of food to the table.

Chris Sayegh, aka Herbal Chef, brings a dish to diners at his May 17 Secret Dinner Club in Santa Monica.

(Michelle Groskopf / For The Times)

Maybe because eight years and thousands of meals later, he locked down the whole rebellion (“We do everything privately, we really do follow the law,” he said of the navigating the nuances of what is legal and illegal. “And we make sure everything is done by the book”), each monthly Secret Dinner Club meal going forward – starting with the meal we attended in mid-May – will explore another topic.Before we arrived, we were informed via email that our evening theme would be “Sources.” Original Edibles: An Edible Tour of the World.” It was accompanied by a drawing of a lone silhouette riding a camel – remember that camel; it won’t be the last. you hear about it – against the backdrop of the sand dunes (The theme of the June dinner is “Movie Night”, which showcases the dishes to be viewed on the big screen. The theme of the next dinner – tentative on July 12th – is “Edio: An Edible Audio Experience”, the dishes will be based on songs and albums.)

In the hands of Herbal Chef, that theme meant packing our bags for 24th century BC China and concluding 10 courses later in 20th century Canada. The foundation of the evening’s departure. is the darkly lit interior of Nostalgia (for the dinner club scenario, additional tables are set up in the seating area), and, including our companions, we there are a total of 20 crowded, almost train-eating-car feeling. The Herbal Chef representative told us that is the maximum priority number of diners per two dining seats. We were also informed that six of our fellow explorers had boarded the food-infusion train the previous dinner. We sat near one end of the bar, where we perused some of the creative and often canna or terpene-flavored cocktail combinations made throughout the night, and in plain sight of Nostalgia’s, ah, recall pop art: specifically a large black-and-white mural depicting cartoons from several decades ago, with characters like Johnny Bravo, Ren and Stimpy and Pinky and Brain adapted to suit the look of millennium generation.

“As we go down the menu, we get a taste of the different trade routes in which cannabis has been shipped to the Middle East, India, South Africa, etc,” explains Sayegh. before we begin our journey. “And you will find the menu more spiced, because when the Silk Road opened, there were a lot of spices being traded everywhere. This was a really interesting menu for us because we could learn, but also really interesting because we learned along the way. Each dish will have what is available within the given time frame in that region. “

A diner holds a bubble filled with smoke.

Secret Supper Club Prairie Rose looks at a stone fruit-filled bubble in her hand.

(Michelle Groskopf / For The Times)

The cannabis-themed fun isn’t limited to the menu either, thanks to the theatrical plumes of smoke and steam that pop up at the table all night long. The most memorable of these came at the start of dinner, when a server floated a perfectly spherical, fragrant smoke-filled bubble into the air in front of us. When the balloon hovers over the palm held overhead, it pops, releasing a cloud of scented smoke from the rock.

Learn how Stephanie cooks in each course below, followed by Adam’s cannabis-focused (and 50-milligram infused) thoughts in italics. Inside Secret Supper Club’s $295 L.A. weed dinner

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