Scratch Bar - Fantastic 55 Dollar, "Light Tasting Menu" Dinner

55 dollar “Light” Tasting Menu.
I got pictures but there were far too many ingredients to recall. Suffice it to say I loved every bite. Criminally underappreciated restaurant in LA.

Right - Shrimp, crispy, pickled onions; Left - Eggplant/Tomato

Ikura Grilled Cheese (ordered a la carte, not part of Light menu)

Spuds - mashed and roasted, Roe, Nori, Chervil, Dill, Garlic

Smoked Salmon, Mushroom, Foam

Hanger Steak with Roasted, Smokey Veg

Dessert - We only photographed one of two, the other one was an ice cream cone of some sort. This one was - Granita of some green astringent shit, Coconut Custard on bottom, and Crunchy brown stuff on the side. really great.

Update - informed by my better 1/2 - Lime Granita, Thai Basil, Olive Oil Crumble and Coconut Cream Base


I forgot… What was the chef/location controversy here when the initial iteration of Scratch Bar closed shop? Or was that it changed hands?

Looks yummy. Not too far from my office; I should try it.

Phillip Frankland Lee and his wife are the chef owners of the location in the SFV. It used to be in Beverly Hills, but he and his former partner had some kind of rift.
I’ve tasted his food before when he was competing on Top Chef, and I found him and his food to be incredibly pretentious. There seemed to be more than 20 components to his dish, and they all drowned out his chosen protein of King Crab. Way too complex and it was a waste of the poor crab. I’m not sure if the competition affected the way he cooked that day, but the dish and his presentation of it just didn’t work for me.


I thought the Beverly Hills Scratch Bar was exactly like what you are describing - forced creativity over flavor. The Sherman Oaks re-do is far, far superior, IMHO.

I have been to the Encino location once in July 2016, it was a tasting menu
with about 10 courses for $85.
It was a lot of food, some dishes were amazing, some not so much.
Both service and ambiance were great! Open fire grill or whatever that
kitchen set up is, made awesome aroma for the restaurant.
Still planning to come back but order a la carte rather than the tasting
menu. Ikura grilled cheese beckons.
Towards the end of our dinner, one of the chefs came over and introduced
himself as Phillip. Since I have never seen any of the cooking shows I had
no idea he was the Chef for this place. Seemed humble and quite friendly.

You are right about that intoxicating aroma from the indoor grills. Very special.
Now, the full menu is $95 and it I fear it might be too much for me. The light version at $55 was, for me, plenty of food. I was stuffed. They were incredibly accommodating; none of that “everyone at the table has to get the same menu” B.S.
My SO ordered a la carte dishes and I did the tasting menu.

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Scratch Bar still scratches the itch, beautifully.
Went last night with 3 buddies.
Outstanding meal: 19 delicious courses, plus an add on Grilled Cheese with Ikura (not on menu anymore, you have to ask for it).

Hot cheese with fish eggs?

the hot cheese and bread is “over-layered” with the ikura, and likely the sandwich is cooled before the eggs are dropped on top, so they don’t get cooked by the heat.



is it still 55 dollars?

no - it is more but i do not recall how much more

Just slightly more at $105 (according to their website)

Yes. the 55 was an abbreviated menu, IIRC, and they don’t have it currently on the menu.
But they are very accommodating and if one was only up for a smaller version, i think they would comply at a lower price point.

I don’t eat intestines, but the idea of them doesn’t make me gag. The idea of greasy, cooked cheese and ikura does. So much wrongness.

Worthy of J.Gold 101, you think?

It is a lot better than Vespertine.

Actually it is pretty good, at least they way they execute it at Scratch Bar.
Ever tried to put ikura on a toast with butter?
Kind of along the lines of bread/butter/anchovy combination.

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Agree - much better than it sounds.

I’m reading it as a riff on a tuna melt. If the technique is on point I can see those flavors working.