The Swine is officially here. After a few weeks of glimpses and emerging details, chef Phillip Frankland Lee's animal-free Studio City eatery The Gadarene Swine is ready to serve, starting today. The marble bar, which wraps around to seat eight, is the home for Lee's version of omakase, where coursed out plates each revolve around a central fruit or vegetable theme and are finished by Lee himself, as he hovers over the open pass. Staff won't have to travel far to deliver plates to the rest of the tiny room, either. A dozen or so tables make up the rest of the seating, where a full (though still vegetable only) menu is offered nightly. Bare bulbs give the room a warm, low light, and the heavy wood accents make the room feel even cozier. A few rustic features like an old bicycle and dated oil paintings bring the space together, while the patio out front is still a work in progress. So too is the hilly back garden, where Lee hopes to grow enough year-round produce to service his nightly chef's counter dishes.
Speaking of which, guests should prepare themselves to eat well at Gadarene, despite the near-vegan menu. Lee, an omnivore with plenty of red meat on his menu at Scratch Bar, has made sure not to skimp on portions or flavor, particularly with the chef's counter menu, which may stretch to ten or more courses. Dishes are robust enough that the meat may not be missed at all, particularly when it comes to roasted root vegetables, mushrooms and reconstituted tomatoes.
All in all, it looks like Gadarene Swine should fit right in along suddenly-bustling Ventura Blvd.
The Gadarene Swine
11266 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 5:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m.