Mark Peel’s Steam Dream

Top chef Mark Peel opens up Bombo, a healthy seafood spot

Steam kettles allow Chef Mark Peel to add gourmet flair to quick-serve lunch at Bombo.

Updated Jul 6, 2017 @ 10:54 am

In the fast-healthy-fresh lunch department, things have gotten a little repetitive lately. Sure, we love build-your-own salad and rice bowl joints, but sometimes we crave a little more culinary creativity in our midday munch-down.

Mark Peel has come to our rescue.

The former white-tablecloth chef (he was Spago’s opening chef and founder of Campanile) has cooked up a concept that allows him to bring his gourmet chops to the quick-service lunch model.

His new seafood-focused stall in Downtown’s Grand Central Market is called Bombo, and the six steel steam kettles that line the front of the space are the foot soldiers of the operation. The high-pressure steam that passes through the kettle pipes allows Peel to cook broth-based seafood dishes fresh to order in less than four minutes. The healthful steaming process and rich, complex broths render juicy, flavor-packed meals with no cooking fat.

Curried shrimp from Bombo
Bombo’s curried shrimp in Indonesian-style ginger-lemongrass broth.

Peel sources his seafood only from sustainable purveyors and chooses local species when possible. Seasonal choices range from steamed yellowtail in vegan mushroom broth ($12) to Seattle fish stew in lobster broth ($14) and curried shrimp in Indonesian-style ginger-lemongrass broth ($12). There are tasty non-seafood choices, too, including braised short rib on egg pappardelle ($13) and a fresh arugula salad with braised chicken, eggplant and kabocha squash ($9). Meats are antibiotic- and hormone-free.

All dishes are under $15. “I’ve wanted for decades to apply really good cooking techniques and quality to less expensive food,” he says. This week he’s also opening an onsite fish market selling fresh, sustainable fish to cook at home.

To Bombo, then, we say: Bingo!

Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway St., Stall D3, Los Angeles