Seafood Encino

Novel Seafood Concept Opens in Encino

Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and wife Margarita Kallas-Lee complete their triumvirate of restaurants in Encino Place with this week’s launch of Frankland’s Crab & Co. The takeout-friendly seafood concept is tucked between Scratch|Bar & Kitchen (offering a prix fixe, multi-course menu of small plates) and Woodley Proper (a cocktail lounge with upscale fare). Why seafood? […]

Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and wife Margarita Kallas-Lee complete their triumvirate of restaurants in Encino Place with this week’s launch of Frankland’s Crab & Co. The takeout-friendly seafood concept is tucked between Scratch|Bar & Kitchen (offering a prix fixe, multi-course menu of small plates) and Woodley Proper (a cocktail lounge with upscale fare).

Why seafood? “I grew up going down to County Line every weekend to eat fresh seafood,” Phillip says. “Growing up in the Valley, I didn’t understand why we don’t have more seafood right here—despite the entire world thinking we surf to work. We have great sushi and places for a good shrimp cocktail, but not the clam chowder, fried oysters and lobster rolls I craved. I wanted something that the folks around here—my family included—can enjoy without having to drive 45 minutes.”

The tight menu at this “modern American shell shack” features Gulf shrimp, king crab legs and Maine lobster available by the pound, served in a brioche roll or over lettuce.

Dishes “from the kitchen” include fish ‘n’ chips crafted with wild-caught branzino that features a batter folded with North Coast Brewing Co. Scrimshaw Pilsner. A seafood chowder stars rich shellfish stock loaded with crab, lobster, prawns and house-cured bacon. Simple fried oysters, clams and calamari are also on the menu, along with corn-on-the-cob brushed with drawn lobster butter and a fried chicken roll topped with tangy giardiniera.

“Scratch|Bar is the lab where I can play with thousands of different dishes and test ideas,” Phillip says. “I wanted to balance that with Frankland’s Crab & Co. It’s simply a mainstay that serves high-quality, well-executed, approachable food that satisfies my seafood craving in an instant. Literally, the menu is a compilation of dishes that I want to eat and order at a seaside crab shack. We aren’t doing anything drastically different to classics like ‘chowdah,’ except making it really well and very tasty.”

Margarita, an accomplished pastry chef, provides a single dessert: an ice cream sandwich that constantly swaps out components. One version features Peruvian dark chocolate chip cookies with Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream and Latvian-style sgushenka (condensed milk).

Bartender Devon Espinosa, who designed Woodley Proper’s cocktail program, presides over Frankland’s Crab & Co beverages as well. He and his team make root beer, lemonade and ice tea in-house and provide the option to spike with tiny bottles of spirits (akin to what airlines serve) like gin, vodka and tequila. They rotate a single beer on tap and pour house white and red wine, rosé and bubbles.

Plans are in the works to feature weekend crab boil brunches, “the kind of beautifully messy experience you’d enjoy with a bunch of friends on the pier on the weekends. It’s inspired by all the great seafood locales—from Maryland to Maine to any casual shack on the water.” They’ll also explore other themes on weekends once they get their “sea legs.”

Jordan Olson designed the diminutive but attractive space to include Astroturf on the ceiling, swaths of tropical leaf wallpaper, a handful of small tables inside and a few more seats on the outdoor balcony. Employees take orders at the counter.

Frankland’s Crab & Co. is the couple’s first fast-casual concept, and Encino is just the start. This summer, the Lees plan to open a second outpost at Montecito Inn in Santa Barbara’s ritziest area. In the meantime, enjoy the original daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.

16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-906-9609

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