The Gadarene Swine - Loved It!

Finally made it to the GS in Studio City and had a fantastic meal. I don’t remember ever having such a delicious and satisfying (non-Indian) veggie meal.

We had:
Fried Stuffed Olives
Peanut Butter and (Prune) Jelly - AMAZING
Blackened Cauliflower
Vegetables in a (Potato) Box - Best dish of the night
Hand Rolled Pasta - excellent house made noodles

My one minor compliant would be the Hand Rolled Pasta, which had a very interesting, complex tomato sauce with both spiciness and sweetness, perhaps too much of the latter.
Desserts looked great but we were stuffed.
Staff was super friendly, knowledgeable and ENTHUSIASTIC!
Grapefruit Candle with Olive Oil on the bar - lovely.


Have you watched this season of Top Chef?


But I know the chef is - or was - on the show; one of the waiters said PFL is the only chef in the history of chef-dom (or chef-dumb, if you like) to have won all of the major shows - Chopped, etc. I would ordinarily think that is the type of chef to avoid at all costs, but not in this case.

Looking forward to trying his new Scratch Bar in Encino.

I know @chrishei had good things to say about SB in Encino. Have eaten plenty of chef Lee’s food at food festivals, definitely want to check out the full experience at his restaurants.

I had no idea of an opening of a new place in Encino. It’s only ~1 mi away from where I work. Maybe I can invite a co-worker so I can write it off as a business expense. Hah!

As if on cue, KevinEats posted his review of the new scratch bar.

24 courses for $120? Almost makes me want to cancel my n/naka reservations.

Do you think they changed the number of courses and/or the size in the last 2 wks. Unless kevineats was taking pics w/ a microscope, I don’t get how they can offer that much food at that price. I’d be game to find out, though (maybe the $40 one)… Hmmm…

His writing just gets more and more R-esque-A, to wit:

Corn Nuts-esque


holy crap those beer bottles (and Thatcher wine) are amazing

Thanks for the report @CiaoBob! I’ve had this place on my watch list for a while; need to go soon…

I tasted his food at the during the premiere episode of Top Chef earlier in May. I rather felt that his food and presentation was too complicated and the explanation of the dish was too contrived. I wasn’t too terribly impressed, but perhaps competition cooking isn’t a complete accurate depiction of a chef.

I think it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that his personality doesn’t come off particularly well on the show.

I have not eaten at any of his restaurants, though.

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He’s like a puppy starved for attention. He gets all strange when he doesn’t get recognition. I wasn’t impressed by food or personality…and I wasn’t the only one. The buzz around the event that day was not in his favor.

Hated it! Went there last summer for a dineLA prix fixe menu. Hated the way the food was served and almost every dish was sugar-sweet. Haven’t had a worse restaurant experience in many years.
What you had was, obviously, quite different from my experience but I’d never want to return. Those ridiculous wooden platters they expect you to serve yourself on were just stupid.

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My biggest issue is…I can’t tell if those are positive or negative comments…

For me they would be leaning strongly in a negative direction. For keveneats, as long as they are paired with the right beer to “provide the necessarry base for the contrasting flavors to play off each other’s counterbalancing counterpoints,” who the fuck knows?


I enjoyed my meal there when they first opened, although I thought it was a bit too pricey for the amount of food served. They also used a slab of raw/untreated wood as our plate for the entire meal (i.e., a cross section of an approx 24" diameter tree, bark and all). I found that a bit pretentious and spent most of the evening trying to figure out if they attempt to wash them after or if they just trash/burn them.