David Mendez

Slider Stop’s processes are a labor of love and good taste

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Slider Stop, a new restaurant soon on Artesia Boulevard in Redondo Beach, brings chef-driven creativity to sliders. The restaurant is the project of South Bay natives Ryan, Jason, and Brandon Rezaie. Photo by Richard Foss

Slider Stop, a new restaurant soon on Artesia Boulevard in Redondo Beach, brings chef-driven creativity to sliders. The restaurant is the project of South Bay natives Ryan, Jason, and Brandon Rezaie. Photo by Richard Foss

by David Mendez

The work at Slider Stop begins each morning at 6 a.m., when a team of prep cooks begins to set the stage — five hours before the small restaurant opens.

There, among other duties, they prep the avocado mousse, the corn and black bean relish, and put the finishing touches on the two-day process required to ready their fried chicken.

“We’ve gotta do it every day,” said Slider Stop’s head chef Sam Hardy. “Avocado mousse doesn’t keep overnight.”

For the uninitiated, sliders are, basically, small hamburgers — if you’re thinking of White Castle, you’re on the right track. But Slider Stop, at 2315 Artesia Blvd., shines with ambition, following a mission to use high-quality ingredients and creative pairings to create a gourmet experience.

Take the restaurant’s fried chicken, for example. “It’s my favorite, and I love when people come up to me and say ‘The Chicken Dinner slider changed my life!,’” Rezaie said.

That slider begins with chicken breast that its first day in Slider Stop’s kitchen in a brine that includes honey, lemongrass, rosemary, thyme and cardamom. The next day, it’s dredged in buttermilk, breaded twice, then flash-fried in soybean oil for what Rezaie calls “probably the healthiest fried chicken you can get around here.”

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Slider Stop’s Buffalo Chicken slider and Little Mac slider with an order of garlic fries. Photo by David Mendez

The slider is then finished with a bacon-maple gravy and mashed potatoes before being served on a King’s Hawaiian roll.

“We usually have to bread chicken five or six times a day, that way we make it fresh. If it sits, it’s not good — fried chicken is supposed to be breaded, fried and served,” said Hardy, whose background includes work in top Las Vegas restaurants, such as Alizé, Charlie Palmer and Aces Bar and Grill.

The attention to detail began at the top, with owner Jason Rezaie and his brothers, who built and designed the interior of the restaurant themselves. The idea, they say, began with a desire to make food for the whole family to enjoy. With Hardy, the team created 50 different sliders before paring the list down to its current selection of nine, featuring three beef, three chicken, one turkey, and two dessert sliders.

“That space is so tiny, and you can only do so much with it,” Rezaie said. “I’m not sure how we’re doing what we’re doing with it,”

That’s not to say that they’re forever limiting themselves to nine. The restaurant plans to offer “sliders of the month,” beginning with a Buffalo Chicken slider, and possibly including a meatloaf slider that “that’ll probably change your life if you have it,” Rezaie said. The restaurant also plans to include a permanent vegetarian slider option that will launch before year’s end.

“We take pride in all of our food, and we try to do it in the best way to get it out to the customer in the best way,” Hardy said. “It’s love, man. It’s a process.”

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