It’s hard to find the new location of Scratch Bar & Kitchen, but the journey is rewarded with creative delicious dishes and three tasting menu options.
Top Chef contestant Philip Frankland Lee and his wife relocated Scratch Bar & Kitchen from its initial home on Restaurant Row on La Cienega to the second floor of a shopping center in Encino. The space is still very small (30 seats total with 16 at the bar), but the smart placement of lots of bar seating allows diners to watch all of the kitchen action.
Chefs interact directly with diners to design a custom menu for each guest. As the name implies, all of the ingredients are made from scratch including hand-pressed olive oil, cheeses and house-cured charcuterie. The menu includes a la carte options and tasting menus ranging from $40 to $120.
Standout dishes include carrots with yogurt and pistachio, scallop with apple and jalapeno, chorizo with mushroom and salmon roe, beef tartare, foie gras with sea urchin, and bone marrow with spiced mushrooms. Co-owner and pastry chef Margarita Lee also serves a delicious selection of desserts.
The wine list is as unique and tasty as the menu. Most wines are from limited production runs so diners are guaranteed to be able to taste wines that are usually only available to those in wine clubs, including bottles from Thacher, Brander and Stellareese.
If you are lucky to live in the valley, Scratch Bar & Kitchen is close by. If not, it’s well worth the trip for extraordinary food and wine.