Words by Hungry Hungry Harris / Photos by Tanner Grant
A few days ago a few of the KROQ.com guys and I had the pleasure of checking out the beautiful space at Plan Check on Fairfax. No strangers to awesome collaborations, Sanrio and Stussy have teamed up in the past; Plan Check now has a Linkin Park Meal Pack inspired by the band and their new album, One More Light.
Plan Check owner, Terry Heller, and Linkin Park actually have a long history dating back to their debut album Hybrid Theory. Heller actually owned the production company that made Linkin Park’s Crawling music video and a bunch of Joe Hahn’s directorial projects. When Heller’s good friend joined Linkin Park’s management, he reached out to the band with the idea and the rest is culinary history.
“When I knew they had their album coming up I just hit them up,” says Heller. “I’m always looking for inspiration, albeit through food, music, fashion, whatever. I thought it was a great opportunity to do something fun.”
The band is very familiar with Plan Check and their take on modern American comfort food. Heller and the band wanted to take that but add inspiration from the band’s background, hence the heavy Japanese and Korean influences.
The Linkin Park Meal Pack is essentially a three-course meal, it covers your appetizer, entrée, and dessert plus a drink to wash everything down.
Although there is no official order to eat your Linkin Park Meal Pack, we started with the beautiful and colorful Ahi Tuna Tostada. Taking inspiration from Mike Shinoda’s Japanese roots, the perfectly sized ahi tuna chunks are topped with radish, avocado and drizzled with a generous amount of jalapeno ponzu. It was the first thing everyone tried and it definitely ended up being everyone’s favorite dish in the pack. We ended dipping everything in the jalapeno ponzu and I would have licked the plate if I wasn’t in public.
Serving at the meal pack’s entrée, was “The Heavy” a Korean BBQ grilled cheese and an order of fries. The Heavy, named after the new album’s first single and inspired by Joe Hahn’s Korean ancestry, is stacked with gochujang-braised pork belly, house-made pickles, Americanized dashi cheese and sandwiched in between parmesan-crusted sourdough bread. This grilled cheese is absolutely perfect. The cheese totally covers every inch of your mouth with its creamy and melty texture.
The fries are dusted with a pulverized kimchi seasoning. You read that right, Plan Check takes kimchi, dehydrates it and turns it into a fine dust. Being the fat guy that I am, I had to throw some of the fries in the sandwich. Needless to say, every bite was on point.
To finish off the meal pack, we saved dessert for last. If you’ve ever been to Plan Check you know they have these awesome crullers. They have figured a way to one-up themselves with the OML (One More Light) Cruller. They take their famous cruller and douse it with coconut glaze, yuzu air, caramelized pineapple and then crown it with a dried pineapple slice and a chocolate disk with the Linkin Park logo. The cruller is nice and airy, and definitely not overbearingly sweet not matter what the ingredients may suggest.
Be sure to check out the Linkin Park Meal Pack at you nearest Plan Check. It will be a featured menu item for the month of May. Along with a full belly, the meal pack even comes with a Linkin Park t-shirt. Linkin Park’s new album One More Light comes out May 19th. We want to thank Plan Check and Terry Heller for letting us come out and check out his beautiful restaurant and giving us a chance to try the artistry that is the Linkin Park Meal Pack.
“We want to make sure for $39 you get a Linkin Park t-shirt and a whole meal. I think that’s a pretty damn good value,” says Heller.
The Linkin Park Meal Pack is available at all 4 Plan Check locations (Sawtelle, Fairfax, Downtown, and Santa Monica) throughout the month of May.