(Pardon the fanboi Japanese usage)
KTCHN105 first came into the public’s eye last summer via Yelp, and then Serious Eats blew it up in January 2011. Yet thanks to the chef/proprietor’s rather inconvenient door policy (email/vmail reservations only, Opentable/Urbanspoon fees are for the corporate dweebs), KTCHN105 remains “underground” urbane hipster chic enough for Daily Candy to (falsely) proclaim this as a pop-up/underground restaurant. Chef Barron is one smarty cat — he runs a profitable catering firm to fund his cooking-as-art project known as “that place spelling bee champs can’t conquer”.
From reading the review & seeing the pictures, it’s obviously the loft cum garden party is deliciously cute, but is brunch — the only meal served — actually delicious? Well Watson, let’s just say Farmshop need not worry. Over the period of two days, we tasted everything from the focused morning menu and the conclusion is this: come for the liquid dishes of bloody Maria’s with the pickled habanero, or the rouge beet juice, and order the dessert (fantastic cookies + fake orgasm inducing choco cheese cake) as mains.
The harissa scramble, one of the few actual entrees in the brunch menu, was fine but haphazard. At $13, just know there is something equally eggy and better executed, with farmers market sourced ingredients, from Ammo. The toad in the hole ($8) was nice, with 2 warm & running quail yolks in the middle, but the portion (and purpose) was neither here nor there. Fresh berries were at least true to the name, with season’s best strawberries and peaches tossed in a light custard, topped with some granola sprinkles. The “Best Part of a Fried Egg” had the visual attractiveness of a 6th grader’s egg fry, and the flavors were not best of anything. Saving grace of the weekend was the $2 bacon add-on. Cheap (for restaurant) bacon is not how anyone should remember Mother’s Day brunch.
KTCHN105 carries so much dramatic design flair (urban patio, raised herb garden, open kitchen in industrial lofted space) that The Kitchn loves, but falls rather short as the actual fare is clearly evocative of catered food. Credit must be given to the amiable staff, the studious chef and his sous, as well as the fantastic environs. And this is probably all just “OK” with the KTCHN. After all, they’re already much too busy to answer the mobile phone linked to the secret gate buzzer.
1250 Long Beach Ave Ste 105
Los Angeles, CA 90021