Q&A with AAA member Eric Nol, Managing Director of Meat District Co, Los Angeles
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Eric Nol, Managing Director of Meat District Co Los Angeles, has been involved in the hospitality industry for over seven years. Eric Nol was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and in 2012 he decided to make the move to Los Angeles. Eric started a beverage company when he first moved to Los Angeles and was heavily involved in all aspects of the company from Advertising, Marketing, Budgeting, Investor Relations and putting together a Board to establish itself as a powerful force in the beverage market.
In 2013 Eric was not happy with the coffee landscape and current options available in Los Angeles so he decided to start a coffee company where he partnered up with a well-known Australian coffee supplier to provide USA with top quality Australian Coffee.
Eric Nol is well adapt and understands fully what it takes to start a company and make it successful in the difficult Los Angeles business landscape. Eric Nol joined Platinum Restaurant Group in 2016 as part of the Meat District Co Los Angeles team. It only took Eric one look at the Meat District Co in Pasadena and knew right away what a fantastic place it could turn into and saw the big picture. He understood the Pasadena culture and how much competition there was yet knew the quality of product and service Meat District Co offers its customers go above and well beyond what competitors offer. Meat District Co is located in the Old Town district of Pasadena California.
Eric Nol has lived in Pasadena CA for over two years. Stop by Meat District Co in Pasadena and say Hi!
1. Tell us a little bit about your background – what lead you to working with Meat District Co in Los Angeles? Prior to moving to USA I was involved in a few companies in Sydney, Australia. I owned and operated two private entities, focusing on the online sector and the information technology sector. I was fortunate enough to head the IT department of a large law firm back home. I have lived in Los Angeles since early 2012, where I came across and formed my first company. During my time I learnt a ridiculous amount about how business is done here in Los Angeles. I managed to meet extraordinary people, partner with some very influential individuals and connected with some amazing people I call close friends today. My experiences led me to have a huge understanding in marketing, advertising and the ability to network. What led me to work with Meat District Co? It is a long story but in short, I love what they are doing here. I see the potential this place has and what it has to offer. I love challenges and I do not like to lose, I am extremely competitive! I decided it would be a great challenge to me to take over the restaurant and get it back to it’s glory days where it should always be! Come in and see for yourself, I bet you will also see how amazing the place is and it’s potential. I have been working for a short time now and in such a short time we are attracting more new and repeat customers. I invite you all to come and see us! You will be “Hooked”!
2. What’s the concept behind Meat District Co? Meat District Co aims to re-awaken the senses & bring a new kind of dining to the streets of Los Angeles. Located in the heart of Old town Pasadena, Meat District Co. works in partnership with some of America’s most sustainable producers delivering experiences & dishes that tick all the boxes when it comes to quality & taste, leaving you wanting more each and every time – an ADDICTION waiting to be savored. Meat District Co. remembers a time when beef came from a farm and not a factory – when ‘100% beef’ was actually from a cow. We have decided it’s time to bring the farm to your doorstep with Certified Angus Beef (hormone, steroid & antibiotic free). Let the addiction begin – an addiction which is good for the soul.
3. What can we expect to find on the menu? Given our name, we are very centralized around our meat. Meat District Co’s 1/2lb burgers feature from a classic Aged Cheddar Cheese to something a little more gourmet featuring our Surf and Turf Burger and you’ll never know what Chef’s coming up with for our burger of the month. Meat District Co’s fall off the bone ribs feature the spare pork, baby back & the beef ribs, which I like to say are from the Flintstone era, and are finished in our secret house baste. Our signature dish is our Meat Hook, which is described below and also comes in a chicken version with peri peri sauce.
4. What does a typical day for you look like? I don’t think there is a ‘typical’ day for me as each and every day is unique in its own way. I am involved in a few companies either serving on the board or more involved in the daily business activities, ranging from hospitality, finance and tech industries so typically I wake up bright and early and work on all my ongoing projects. Luckily I live in Pasadena CA so the commute to Meat District Co is not very far. I am heavily involved in marketing and advertising for our brand. Most restaurateurs will know how much work and dedication it takes to be successful in the industry. On busy days you may see me behind the kitchen giving my team a hand (I am quite the cook myself so don’t worry about your food). I like to get involved in all aspects of the restaurant so I can get a better understanding, work more efficiently and if need be, see where we can improve. This allows me to maintain the excellence we expect in all our staff with our top quality service and food!
5. Where in Los Angeles do you go for inspiration? Where do I go for inspiration, well, I am self inspired but in saying that I do like to go around the town and see what is the new thing going around. I must say Downtown LA, specifically the Arts District are doing some amazing things! The café and restaurants out there are doing the right things. We have received great compliments from people all over Los Angeles stating Meat District Co has the best burgers in Pasadena and surrounding areas. I tend to visit competitors every so often and see how they are doing things and if I like an aspect of it, I tweak it to fit the Meat District Co. dynamic. I also get inspiration in the nightlife world, more specifically live jazz nights. I love the flare and atmosphere and we have future plans to host jazz nights in our atrium. Keep your eyes open. Something pretty awesome will be coming to the Meat District Co.
6. What’s your favorite meat dish and why? My favorite would have to be our signature dish, which is the Meat Hook, featuring 10oz of grass-fed Certified Angus Beef. The uniqueness of the dish is that it features three cuts of steak, the New York, Rib Eye & Petite Fillet, served on a hanging skewer and at the top of that skewer is a perforated bowl of a creamy pepper sauce, which just drizzles down the skewer. In between each cut of meat are roasted bell peppers & onions, served with fries & a garden salad. This dish will leave you addicted!
7. Having lived in both Australia and the US, what differences have you found between the two dining/restaurant worlds? I must admit the quality of food in Australia is quite exemplary. I certainly do miss it but that’s not to say that the food culture in Los Angeles does not compare. The one thing I will say that is quite different is marketing. Even though both countries are westernized and English speaking nations, both are quite different when it comes to marketing and advertising. What works in Sydney may not necessarily work in Los Angeles. Getting more specific into the dining worlds, the lifestyle of the people dictates the dining and nightlife so it does vary between states in USA. I can’t get too in detail otherwise I would be talking for quite some time.
8. What are your future plans for Meat District Co? I don’t want to spill too much information here but maybe I can give a little teaser. If you want to know more I guess you will have to come and meet with me and try to get it out of me somehow. J
So far my plans are to expand the client base, attract new customers and retain our repeat customers. I have plans as mentioned, to host special jazz nights where we will have live performers in our atrium.
We are also planning to start NFL and Collage Football season with Football parties in the atrium. It will be the place to be during football!
As for more future plans, you’ll have to find another way to get that information out of me! There are some amazing future plans for Meat District Co but I’ll stay quiet for now….
9. How can people find out more about Meat District Co? If people want to know more, very simple. Come in to the restaurant. I’ll be here to answer any questions. Alternatively just jump onto our website www.meatdistrictco.com