4 new places in town with inventive concepts and big-name talent
- Written byKaren Young
Barrel & Ashes
French-trained executive chefs Timothy Hollingsworth (French Laundry) and Rory Herrmann (Bouchon) meet Texas barbecue in a renovated space (formerly Spark Woodfire Grill) that includes an open kitchen and chef’s counter. Meat is smoked in-house and “The Best Damn Chick’n Sandwich Ya Ever Had” is indeed just that. Must-eat sides: hoe cake (crazy-decadent cornbread), miner’s potatoes, pork ‘n’ beans, shells and cheese, Frito pie. LA’s most revered barman, Julian Cox (Brilliantshine), created the drinks menu with highballs, sours and shandies, as well as local beers. Don’t leave without indulging in the apple cobbler or banana pudding. FYI: 18% tip automatically added to bill.
Coastal Mexican cuisine featuring a predominately small-plate menu is the theme behind Top Chef alum Alex Eusebio’s Cascabel, which he co-owns with wife, Sara, along with the nearby eatery Sweetsalt. The charming, 1920s Spanish structure, once home to D’Cache, has three dining rooms, turquoise accents, rattler wall art and an ample bar. Recommended: lobster tacos, celery root puree flautas, short rib mole and shrimp ceviche. The chocolate marquis dessert is a decadent delight, while breezy cocktails seal the deal.
The Gadarene Swine
Vegetables star at The Gadarene Swine—a “plant-based” restaurant from Chef Phillip Frankland Lee who, in case you’re wondering, named it after a philosophical theory about the path one follows. Chef Lee has built an ambitious menu around everyday vegetables turned into colorful works of art served in garden pots. Splurge at the chef’s counter for a 10-course dinner ($85) or order à la carte. Standouts: tomato with sourdough and roasted mushrooms with sweet potatoes. Sip on wine, Champagne, beer or hand-pressed juices. Deal: three-course lunch with juice, $25.
Gary Arabia has spent three decades catering for celebrities and big-name events. Heard of “body sushi?” He’s the guy behind it. With GC Marketplace, he’s built a sleek culinary destination for coffee, dine-in, grab-and-go, catering and dessert. The coffee bar turns into a wine bar at night, with 300 bottles for purchase. The rotisserie, smoker and wood-burning oven are constantly in use; charcuterie and cheese are freshly cut, and there is a catering concierge on-site to help plan party menus. Reserve the private chef’s table with a special menu. Don’t miss: crab and truffle risotto, house-cured salmon and, if you are so inclined, the foie gras burger on house-baked challah bread.
3 Other Eateries With
Joan’s on Third
Machu Picchu is a family-run Van Nuys restaurant that’s a longtime favorite for Peruvian comfort food. Count Chef Phillip Frankland Lee among their fans.
He is the only contestant to win three of Food Network’s reality show competitions. And he competes again in this season’s Top Chef. But Phillip Frankland Lee’s biggest challenge may lie in Encino, where he is opening what he believes will be a world-class restaurant.