Chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark hails from the Hollywood Hills, but his new brunch menu at The Milling Room is a fusion of many types of cuisine, and, above all, some surprising blends of sweet and savory. An almond croissant with egg, cheese, and avocado works surprisingly well. Formally called the “Guanciale, egg & cheese” on the menu, the chef says it’s his take on a “bacon egg and cheese sandwich.”
“I love the subtlety of guanciale since it's not smoked, and the spices it's cured with are so lovely,” he told Daily Meal. “Ours is from Salumeria Biellese and has black pepper, cinnamon, and clove in the cure. The spicy mayo and the sweet almond paste really help balance one another and all the rich fatty ingredients.”
The chef added that he enjoys “a little avocado on almost everything” since he grew up with an avocado tree in his backyard. As for the reason behind why he added kimchi to the avocado toast, that can be traced back to his love of making pickles and other preserves.
“I have at least three different kimchis going at any given time. I tend to think that the client who orders the avocado toast is slightly health conscious and since kimchi is a probiotic it made sense to me to serve it on this dish. The earthiness of the whole grain bread really rounds the whole dish out,” he says.
Passionate about travel and adventure, Kirschen-Clark spent time exploring cities and learning about cuisines in Mexico, Thailand and Japan. Chef Kirschen-Clark went on to work in an array of notable kitchens throughout New York as well, such as Paul Liebrandt’s Michelin-starred Corton, Audrey Saunders’s Pegu Club, and Alain Ducasse’s Essex House.
He’s brought some Korean BBQ to the smoked bacon offered at brunch, as well as Dutch flavors via the Hot Lightning Potatoes, a play on a traditional Dutch potato dish called Hete Bliksem, which translates to "hot lightning." The classic version is mashed potatoes with apple and bacon in them, but his iteration is fried —and since stroop syrup is Dutch he “thought that tossing them in it would be tasty.”
The Milling Room resides within the former lobby of what was once the Endicott Hotel, a high society mainstay of the late 1800s. There are two separate dining room options: a large skylit room and a lively tavern bar. The dome shaped skylight in the main room runs the length of the space and saturates the restaurant with natural light. Much of the original structure remains carefully preserved including the grand fireplace and exposed iron pillars. The restaurant also hosts a monthly rotating art exhibit highlighting a local artist.