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Choose Between Two Options
- $289 for a 14-course private tasting menu with drink pairings for two ($400 value)
- $149 for a 7-course private tasting menu with drink pairings for two ($258 value)
Cuisine Type: New American, Seafood, Vegan/GF Friendly
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: 14-Course Chef's Counter
Outdoor Seating: No
At Scratch Bar, situated on LA's Restaurant Row, there is no mistaking who runs the show. Owner and chef Phillip Frankland Lee—who also flexed his star power on the Food Network's Guy's Grocery Games" starring Guy Fieri—presents his artfully plated modern cuisine as what he calls "dining as theater."
From a five-seat tasting bar with a bird's-eye view of the kitchen, diners watch him cook and plate dishes that look more like sculptures than food. For instance, the puﬀed smelt atop bone-marrow mustard stands upright on a rustic stone, resembling a fossil carved from a limestone wall—the principle food in cavemen's diets. Small bites include pork belly and raw oysters, and his entrees comprise innovative interpretations of classics, such as dry-aged hanger steak and crispy-skin Pacific salmon, but also dazzle diners with creative dishes such as Squid in a Box. To make this dish, the chef fashions a box by deep-frying strands of potatoes wrapped around a block of wood, and then removes it and fills the form with squid, mushrooms, and greens.
To connect with his audience, each night, chef Lee takes time to sit down with diners at Chef's Counter events, in which up to 11 guests reserve the privilege to ask him about recipes and techniques while eating and sipping wine and sake from an extensive list.
Feasts unfold outdoors on the patio or in the dimly lit, chic dining room, which is well-appointed with the chef's personal touches. Above the hand-carved woodgrain table tops hangs an homage to chef Lee and the staff's ink—a chalkboard with colorful illustrations of their tattoos.