Encino, as in the Valley, you ask?
Top Chef contestant Phillip Frankland Lee (The Gadarene Swine) is an Encino boy, raised around these parts, so when he was looking for new digs for his intimate chef-served tasting menu concept, he found the perfect spot in a Ventura Boulevard shopping center that also houses a CPK and a Coffee Bean – and yes, that carousel.
Nestled next to Larsen’s Steakhouse, Scratch/Bar is an intimate space with several table tops and the piece de resistance, countertop seats where you feel like you’re in the middle of the action as the talented culinary staff/servers do their magic. This is a foodie paradise. Sit back with a glass from the limited production wine list and take all in.
Tuesday through Sunday, SBK serves “one from column A, one from column B” tasting menus, only the columns include Snacks/Vegetables, Seafood, and Meat. Nightly menus are priced at $40, $80, or $120 per person.
We started with bread/butter/chives, thin slices of housemade brioche and housemade butter. The squash/tomato/spinach selection, captured each individual flavor. Rated 97th best restaurant in the U.S. by Opinionated about Dining, SBK prepares a seasonal menu that hits all the right notes.
Of particular mention was the calamari/tomato sauce/aioli, larger sections of squid, breaded, and dusted with sauce and garlic. The filet mignon was also on point. Almost translucent, scallops were given a fresh treatment with apples and a salmon dish practically melted the bed of kale, pretty perfect.
Each dish is presented and explained by the member of the culinary staff who prepared the dish. There is no wait staff here, which makes you feel as though you’re part of the culinary experience.
The desserts at SBK are conjured, prepared, and presented by Margarita Lee, a talented pastry chef who happens to be married to Phillip. We were lucky to have had the chance to score her all too wonderful apple cobbler with house-made ice cream.
Scratch/Bar + Kitchen is a one of a kind experience — and well worth the drive over the hill!
Scratch/Bar + Kitchen
16101 Ventura Boulevard, #255
Encino, California 91436
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