Photo Credit: Alen Lin
You’ll be spoiled for choice during an evening at E.P. & L.P., the trendy new multi-level modern Asian eatery and drinking den on La Cienega Boulevard.
As developed by Australian restaurateurs David Combes and Grant Smillie and conceived by Projects of Imagination (POI), an interior design firm responsible for some of Australia’s hottest restaurants and hospitality destinations, E.P. & L.P. is cool. From its separate check-in to a dramatically-styled staircase to the second level E.P. dining room, which features custom-designed and handcrafted furniture, a freestanding copper-clad bar and open chef’s kitchen bordered by a green onyx dining counter as well as antique mirrors, a rolling LED art piece and a neon sign boasting the words “Young and Free,” everything here has been designed with aesthetics in mind. Trust us, you won’t be able to resist posing with the neon “Where Love Lives” (or at least Instagramming it) upstairs at L.P.’s rooftop bar, which overlooks the Hollywood Hills.
But E.P. & L.P. aren’t just about visuals—it’s chef has the chops, so to speak, to back up the beauty of this West Hollywood eatery and lounge. Executive Chef Louis Tikaram—Australia’s 2014 Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year—has created a pretty diverse menu here, with nods to his Fijian-Chinese heritage, Australian roots and extensive travels throughout Southeast Asia—with SoCal’S farm-fresh produce and healthy culinary sensibilities thrown in, of course.
The menu is on fleek for anyone who loves contemporary Southeast Asian food. The whole menu is designed for sharing, and aims to blend and balance a gamut of sweet, salty, spicy and sour flavors. Start with Pacific oysters (we always do), which are served with red chili and lime cilantro or white soy and ginger, before moving on to excellent starters like the Kakoda—Fijan-style ceviche with Baja rock shrimp, coconut milk, lime and chili, served as a cold soup. Other standouts include the Nama Sea Pearls—a seaweed ceviche with fresh coconut milk, lime, and chiliS—and the Wagyu Cracker Party—hot & sour beef tartare, served with crunchy cassava and rice crackers. Entrees (one might suffice for two) incluce Chinese BBQ Duck with smoked chili, cashews, tamarind and Vietnamese mint, and Lou Dogg’s Crispy Skin Chicken—a half Mary’s chicken with black vinegar, chili, and lemon.
Desserts aren’t traditional here, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something because it isn’t cake or cookies. We absolutely loved the Black Beauty, a dessert of black sticky rice served two ways: puffed and with ice cream, cucumber cream and Szechuan cotton candy, and the Young Plum: young coconut sorbet, salted coconut caramel and spicy plum jelly served with hibiscus plum sauce.
The beverage program at E.P., L.P., and Frankie’s (a private room located within the L.P. space) is worth mentioning as well. As overseen by Beverage Director Alex Straus, these craft cocktails incorporate ancient Asian ingredients meant to “heal or extend life” such as galangal, cassia bark, kaffir lime cordial, tamarind, cardamom bitters, as well as teas from all over Asia, and green papaya, alongside interesting spice-laden liqueurs including a cynar and ancho chili liqueur. Bubble Tea cocktails are a must-try as well. A few of our favorite libations include Where Love Lives, bourbon, mandarin liqueur, peach, ginger, fresh lemon with our house made bellini boba pearls and sparkling wine, and Pump up the Jam, a serioius affair which serves four to six people of tequila, white tea infused bianco vermouth, lychee liqueur, kiwi fruit, fresh lime and blue curacao, served in our ‘you pump it’ vessel.
One take on E.P. & L.P.: this is one hot spot where the party continues throughout the night. It’s stylish, the food is on point and you will see a celebrity or four (we did, at least).
E.P. & L.P. is located at 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. E.P. is open nightly from 6PM – 12AM; L.P.’s rooftop is open seven days a week from 5PM – 2AM; Frankie’s operates Thursday – Sunday until 2AM.