Food guru

Larry Dunning


A lifelong foodie, chef Larry Dunning has owned several local establishments in Northern Nevada including Truffala in Tahoe City and Sezmu, a rustic fusion joint formerly on Mount Rose Street. His latest project, Bowl, in the West Street Market, opened last week. Aptly named, the trendy new establishment offers Mediterranean-inspired dishes served in, you guessed it, bowls. Visit Bowl’s website to check out a menu,, or visit their Facebook page at

How long have you been in the restaurant business?

All my life.

Did you always know that’s what you wanted to do?

Yes, pretty much.

So was Sezmu your first project? What were your projects before that?

The first one was Truffala in Tahoe City in around early 2000s. And I started Sezmu in, I think it was 2007. Sezmu kind of got labeled a special occasion restaurant, but I don’t think it was. I felt it was a neighborhood restaurant. I guess it was like a San Francisco neighborhood restaurant.

There’s kind of a different neighborhood classification there. What makes this restaurant, Bowl, unique from Sezmu?

I think it’s more accessible. We’re hoping it will be an actual neighborhood restaurant. We want people to be able to come here throughout the week. Well, we had regulars at Sezmu, but we’d like to see more. We want people to feel like this is a community place.

What makes it more accessible?

Lower prices. And maybe the location downtown.

So what was the inspiration for the menu and the decor?

The food is more rustic. It’s a lot like Sunday supper food. We wanted the interior to look cool without imposing, but we wanted to make it look like a nice downtown place.

How did your opening go? I heard it was a big hit.

Yeah, there was a line out the door and down the street. It went really well.

How has the following week been?

It’s mellowed out quite a bit. We weren’t really ready for that. It’s been a bit more consistent in the evenings, and we’re expecting the weekends to get pretty busy. But we aren’t doing any marketing at this point. We’re trying to work everything out at this point.

So what do you recommend as the best dish?

I like the pork shoulder. The duck confit is great too.

What I really want to know is, do you serve alcohol?

Well, that’s one of the things we’re working out. We have like, four beers on tap. And some wine. What we want to do is have some specialty cocktails, and not offer full bar service but have some specialty drinks. We’re going to take some of the ideas from Sezmu and incorporate them into the drinks.

What else would you like people to know about Bowl?

West Street Market is open and the parking is not as bad as you think. We can validate for the garage. People expect that parking is an issue, but it’s pretty approachable.