A minimal brunch café with a 70s arcade game-themed website wasn’t exactly the next anticipated move for Los Angeles chef Jordan Kahn, the sweet-turned-savory chef who last made waves at Beverly Hills’ now shuttered Red Medicine. But after a two-year pause from those intricately plated garden sculptures built to taste like Vietnam, he’s back, this round in Culver City.
Daily-changing breakfast and lunch fare that looks artfully arranged with tweezers—served from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m—is the fine dining approach Kahn is giving to avocado toast and beef tartare with smoked egg cream at Destroyer. But that shouldn’t be entirely surprising considering the chef’s prior time clocked in the kitchens of pros like Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz. Plus the year and a half he helmed pastry for Michael Mina’s at XIV in West Hollywood.
Naturally, for a morning place, there’s several caffeine options: filter coffee plus espresso-based beverages pulled on a new MAVAM Espresso machine are brewed with beans by way of San Francisco’s newly installed Coffee Manufactory (the coffee component within Tartine Manufactory) and Portland, Oregon micro-roastery Roseline. Beyond herbal infusions of foraged botanicals, Kahn sources teas via Song Tea, profiled previously on Sprudge.
Within a black, white, and gray-toned 40-seat space in Culver City’s more creatively-minded Hayden Tract area, Kahn’s plates pops thanks to a dusting of lovage powder here, and a pile of sunchoke petals there. And yet, despite the apparent complexity and sophistication of dishes ($6-$16), plus the care and visual intrigue each conveys, this is anything but a white tablecloth place. After all, Destroyer is counter-service only and ditches dinner.
Photos courtesy Destroyer.
Kat Odell (@kat_odell) is a freelance writer based in New York and Los Angeles. Odell’s forthcoming book, Day Drinking, comes out in 2017 from Workman Publishing. Read more Kat Odell on Sprudge.