Left Coast Kitchen & Cocktails is owned and operated by Chris & Heather Randell. They were prompted to create a place of their own when they couldn’t find a fun, local neighborhood joint with personality AND mouth-watering food. When 1810 Merrick Road became available, they couldn’t be more excited. They saw potential at first sight – it had great bones- a tin ceiling, a big bar and just needed a lot of love…and scrubbing.
In 1999, Heather bought a one-way plane ticket from New York to San Francisco on a whim. She pounded the pavement for weeks and finally talked her way into a job at a large restaurant & bar. As fate would have it, this happened to be Chris’ place of employment. He had moved to San Francisco from Southern California to pursue his culinary dreams. The day she started, Chris, who was Sous Chef at the time, turned around to see her walking into the restaurant in slow motion. Her long luxurious locks were blowing in the wind and she was towering at 6 feet tall in her platform shoes. He immediately had eyes for her, but kept it to himself. She, too, had a crush on him. She especially liked the fact that he was the only guy in the kitchen wearing straight leg chef pants instead of the MC Hammer variety. He also scored big points with his killer sense of humor & dreamy blue eyes. They fell in love while arguing over a Huey Lewis photo in a public restroom and took on their new city together, one Atomic Sub at a time (best sandwich in history).
Heather & Chris took a 2-week, cross-country drive in 2001 back to her Native New York, where they lived in Manhattan for the next 6 years. In 2007, with one preschooler and a baby on the way, they made the South Shore their home and have been searching for great restaurants in their neighborhood ever since.
A California native, Chef Chris has a passion for regional American cooking. Inspired by the North Dakota dishes prepared by his mother and grandmother, he prefers cooking simple and flavorful, home-style food. Completely attitude free, Chris judges his performance in the kitchen by the smiles and satisfaction of customers in the dining room.
Chris’ culinary career started in a local Southern California restaurant where he pursued an apprenticeship with a skilled European chef, Lasse Sorrensen, at a restaurant called John Dominis. He quickly discovered that not only was he good, but he also truly enjoyed the work.
After three years at John Dominis, Chris moved to San Francisco in 1997, working at various popular restaurants, LuLu in SOMA, Absinthe in Hayes Valley and The Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley. It was during this period that he co-hosted the wildly loved, cable access show “Feast or Famine.”
When Chris arrived in New York City, he took positions as Garde Manger at Danube, Saucier at Tocqueville and Chef de Cuisine at Pershing Square. He spent two years cooking classic Mexican dishes at Dos Caminos and then opened Mo Pitkin’s House of Satisfaction and was acclaimed for his creative blend of traditional Jewish and Spanish foods of the Lower East Side.
After moving to Long Island in 2007, as Executive Chef of City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill, Chris enjoyed creating and executing a menu of creative dishes inspired by foods from around the globe.
Chris & Heather live with their daughter, Cali (yes, for California) and Cade West (yes, for the West Coast) in Bellmore. Now they are proud to announce the arrival of their third child, Left Coast Kitchen (we know, they are suckers for a theme).