Gene Ross reported that Kick Ass Pictures was going out of business and that Mark Kulkis had opened a restaurant. According to Mark the former is false and the latter is true.
Kick Ass is alive and well. Just check the latest issue of AVN and you’ll see our full page (and fully paid) ad in the same place where it’s been for the past 10 years. It’s true that I hired Gene Ross to do some writing for one of our sites. Gene was the one who brought me into the adult industry 16 years ago, and I was always grateful to him for that. I knew he could use the extra money, and of course his writing is extremely entertaining. But from a business standpoint it was unnecessary. Let’s face it, clever writing isn’t going to sell any more memberships to a hardcore porn site. So when I was looking for ways to trim costs recently (and who isn’t these days, even Vivid didn’t take a booth at the AVN show), that was a natural to cut. Gene didn’t take it well, to put it mildly. This is sort of déjà vu all over again. I guess I should have learned my lesson from the way Gene attacked AVN after leaving the magazine and just kept my distance. But I’m a loyal person and like I said, I felt I still owed Gene a debt for bringing me into the business that’s been so good to me. (Hey, it financed my new restaurant.) Oh well. I guess my debt to him has now been fully paid.
Mark is in the Blue Shirt….
Nestled in a stucco shopping center on San Fernando Boulevard is a new, fresh restaurant: Chop Stop.
The restaurant, which celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, January 7, offers a wide variety of chopped salads, which owner Mark Kulkis recognized was a traditional, delicious meal option that was missing from the L.A. food scene.
“I was looking for a good chopped salad and couldn’t really find one in L.A.,” he said. “So I went home, made my own and came up with the idea to open my own restaurant.”
A newcomer to the restaurant world, Kulkis assembled recipes, using his friends and family as taste testers. He incorporated their comments into his menu, which features 12 salads that vary from the Chop Stop Classic to the BBQ Chop.
But Kulkis insisted that the customer should be allowed to add or remove ingredients to his recipes and bases his menu on the idea that anyone can create any kind of salad he or she chooses.
The premise is simple: choose a green; a dressing; and then any veggies, fruits, meats, beans and cheese you want. (A customer can even add “crunch,” which includes sunflower seeds, tortilla strips and nuts.)
Using set measurements, “chop-makers” combine these ingredients. The result is a perfect melody of complimentary textures and flavors, all combined in one bowl.
Joey Gonzalez, Kulkis’ general manager, shares Kulkis’ passion for providing fresh, delicious meals. Like Kulkis, he also recognized the need for such a restaurant.
“To me, this is an untapped market in the restaurant business,” Gonzalez said.
A primary goal for Gonzalez was to make sure customers didn’t wait longer than three minutes for their food.
“The production line is very specific, very streamlined, so that our customers can get their food as fast as possible,” he said.
Gonzalez recognized the restaurant as not just a trend, but a serious addition to the food culture in Southern California.
“I told Mark when he hired me, ‘If I don’t take the job I’m going to kick myself because there’s eventually going to be a Chop Stop on every corner.’”