“When you have a concept you’re really passionate about and you make it come to life and then you actually have guests in seats and they’re blown away... you’re like, holy shit, we did it,” he said. “We hit a homerun. And it’s incredible. But what’s even more rewarding is when you have a concept that works as a pop-up and then it goes to brick and mortar and you realize that all of that hard work, the torture, the nerves, the anxiety, was all really worth it.”
So far, there’s a good chance that most of the MINA Test Kitchen pop-ups (there have been six since it opened a year and a half ago) will find life in another iteration. There will be a casual version of Little Italy, Adam’s homage to his Italian culture and his grandmother, in Waikiki and Beverly Hills. Diane’s Bloody Mary Brunch, a brunch concept that pays homage to Michael Mina’s wife’s famous Bloody Marys and for which Adam created all of the recipes, is being tested in a handful of Bourbon Steaks all over the country. International Smoke, the collaboration between Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina, is going to open in Hawaii. And Adam is hopeful that the current pop-up Postcards from La Costiera, a coastal Italian concept (and one of our favorite meals of 2016), will eventually be a brick and mortar in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.