As we've noted in the past, chef Phillip Frankland Lee is returning to the Valley by way of The Gadarene Swine. Of late, he's been staffing up the place in prep for an August / early September debut in his Studio City space on Ventura Blvd., which formerly housed the departed Eggplant Japanese restaurant.
It looks like the same intimate vibe will pervade the new place, with eight chef's counter-style seats at the bar and no more than a few tables throughout the rest of the room. Those eight seats up front will be subject to the evening whims of the chef, while a full menu will be available for the other diners in the restaurant. Lee himself will be up front, making much of the food right in front of the guests.
Big news on the concept, though: Gadarene Swine, which actually refers to a logical fallacy surrounding the notion that if everyone is doing the same thing, it must be right, will be a near-vegan restaurant. "The word vegan has become so politicized," says Lee. Instead, Swine will allow the otherwise verboten use of honey (no cream, eggs or cheese, though) in his all-vegetable menu, while keeping things as fun and inventive as anything that's currently found at Scratch Bar, like the above pureed eggplant, puffed amaranth and raw corn dish.
Along with Choi's recently opened Commissary, the trend towards vegetable-heavy menus continues, making Gadarene Swine's porky name itself somewhat of a logical fallacy itself.