As Chefs here approach a level of stardom formerly reserved for the names enshrined on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not surprisingly, LA attracts its share of reality-show talent. A meal prepared by a celebrity chef is a rite of passage here. Head to Scratch Bar & Kitchen in Sherman Oaks, where former Top Chef contestant Phillip Frankland Lee won’t just cook your meal, he’ll serve it to you. His innovative eatery features no wait staff, no tipping and a whole lot of farm-fresh flair. “There’s not a menu, but I’ll get you a physical piece of paper to look at,” he says to a first-time diner, with ingredients that change on a monthly rotation. The tasting menu can be constructed to adhere to all of LA’s notoriously finicky dietary needs. His improvisational approach is a hit, with a full bar and seafood shack scheduled to open later in 2017.
Charcoal ice cream with veggie sprinkels at Scratch|Bar & Kitchen - Pastry chef Margarita Kallas-Lee has made a name for herself with sweets that border on remedies. Case in point: her charcoal ice cream cone with veggie sprinkles, a dessert inspired by her grandmother’s habit of giving Margarita activated charcoal whenever she was sick. Both the ice cream and cone feature activated charcoal, while the sprinkles are made from curative ingredients like turmeric, matcha and spirulina.
As America’s first restaurant run entirely by chefs, including service, bussing and seating, Scratch certainly offers a unique dining experience. Saddle up to the bar, pick the courses you want, discuss with the chef what you’re in the mood for and sit back and relax as one jaw-droppingly delicious — and creative — dish after another is plated before you.
Imagine a super-creamy camembert in ice cream form. That's what the triple crème-sourdough scoop is like at Woodley Proper in Encino, CA. Chef Margarita Kallas-Lee created a "pseudo-traditional camembert triple crème" with local StepLadder Creamery, and its grassy, funky notes blend well with the sweetness of the ice cream. They fold in sourdough bread crumbs for crunch and flavor, drizzle it with honey, roll in homemade lavender sprinkles, and serve in a sourdough waffle-esque cone. It is one of the many "composed cones" coming to Kallas-Lee's new shop, Margarita's Homemade Ice Cream, opening at the Montecito Inn in Santa Barbara, CA this fall.
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