14 Aug Scratch l Bar
Located on L.A.’s infamous Restaurant Row on La Cienega, the new Scratch|Bar is tucked on La Cienega between Wilshire Blvd and San Vicente. Next door to Matsuhisa (use their parking lot to valet your car), Scratch|Bar stands out among its neighbors in all ways. Most importantly, everything is made from scratch…..from the food to the decor.
Scratch|Bar is owned by Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and his wife/partner Pastry Chef Margarita Lee. The restaurant is a showcase for Lee’s talent, as well as his teams’. Lee worked previously at D’Cache Restaurant in Toluca Lake, as well as spent time at Hatfield’s Restaurant, Stefan’s at LA Farm and The Park Grill in Chicago, to name a few. In addition, he has put together a team of sheer talent including Chef D’ Cuisine Joel David Miller who comes from Cleo in Hollywood and Sous Chef Ryan Duval who comes from LA’s Animal Restaurant.
The space is small but full of character. There are 35 indoor seats and 20 on the restaurant’s patio. All of the furniture was custom made, from the leather banquettes to the hand-carved, woodgrain table tops to the restaurant signage and the stenciled burlap place mats. And, the walls have been painted by the tattoo artist that inked Chef Lee. He has recreated the ink that can be found on all of the chefs bodies. And you can let the artist in you come out in the barthroom where there are baskets of chalk so you can leave messages on the chalkboard walls.
The bar program has been developed by Dave Fernie (of Pour Vous in Hollywood) who has created a unique selection of fortified wine based cocktails. The creatively name cocktails include In Memorium (a cross between a sangria and a calimocho), Hero Heat-o (a sake-based daiquiri), Supplies (a sake-based pina colada), Cobbler (a sherry based old fashioned) and Bangkok Dangerous (a mix of lots of ingredients). The cocktails (and wine list) are all paired specifically to Lee’s seasonal menus.
The refreshing In Memorium is made with red wine, an apple/fruit infusion and topped with coca cola and has spice notes like cumin and cinnamon. It tastes like a chilly but sunny day in the Fall.
The Bangkok Dangerous is made with Junmai Daiginjo sakes, pineapple juice, ginger syrup, tumeric, cayanne and lemon juice. In the first sip, the pineapple jumps out and makes it seem like a cocktail to be sipped on a tropical beach. But, then the spice kicks in.
You may scratch your head when looking at the menu but Chef Lee has designed a menu that is inventive, creative and everything is made from scratch. As the menu states, Scratch|Bar is “a new approach to an old sport.”
Lemon & Parm Kale Chips – the kale is dehydrated, not fried, but has a great crunch
Blackened Cauliflower – four colors of cauliflower over cauliflower puree with onion and a pistachio crumbel
Smoking Goat’s Milk Cheese – the goat cheese is made in-house and is aged two weeks; it is placed on a board with timothy hay that is smoked with charcoal.
The cheese is served smoking at the table and is spread over fresh toasted bread and topped with pickled veges.
Warm Hamachi with Sweetbreads – the sweetbreads are poached in white wine and the hamachi and sweetbreads are served over artichoke puree and creme-less creme spinach with artichoke chips and dehydrated grapefruit chips. This rich dish has so many flavors going on that you just have to take it in, one bite at a time.
Grilled Octopus Pasta – The octopus is charred in charmula oil and the noodles are made with yukon potatoes, served with lemon, parsley, grape tomatoes and red onion over kalamata olive puree.
Chocolate & Cayanne Candy Bar – chocolate ganache with lemon curd salted cream a sugar cookie crumble and chia seeds soaked in extra virgin oil (which helps with digestion)
111 North La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90211