ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, the Southeast Asian restaurant developed by Chipotle Mexican Grill will open the doors to its third West Coast location on Tuesday, December 10, in Westwood. The first ShopHouse location in Los Angeles opened this summer in Hollywood and was followed by the opening on the Santa Monica Promenade in October.
The menu at ShopHouse is influenced by traditional ingredients, flavors and cooking techniques of Southeast Asia, and the restaurant gets its name from traditional shophouses, a common form of architecture in Southeast Asia in which families live upstairs and operate restaurants or fresh markets on the ground floor. The ShopHouse model closely resembles Chipotle, including a commitment to serving food made with highest quality ingredients from more sustainable sources, preparing food in an open kitchen using classic cooking techniques, and serving customers in an interactive format that allows each individual to pick and choose exactly what goes in to their own order.
At ShopHouse, guests customize their meal by choosing a base including jasmine rice, brown rice, chilled rice noodles, or a baby kale and Napa cabbage salad; add grilled chicken satay, steak laab, pork and chicken meatballs, or organic tofu; a choice of various wok-cooked fresh vegetables; one of three sauces that include green curry, spicy red curry or a tamarind vinaigrette; garnish with green papaya slaw or pickled vegetables; and top with a choice of crispy toppings that include toasted rice, crushed peanuts or crispy garlic. The entire ShopHouse menu is gluten and dairy-free.
Tim Wildin, ShopHouse brand director, helped to develop the Southeast Asian concept from its infancy. Inspired by his Thai roots, much of the menu is based on his family’s recipes and the food he grew up eating in Bangkok, including the curries and marinades, which would eventually make up the foundation of the ShopHouse menu. “The Thai side of my family is absolutely obsessed with food,” Wildin said. “I grew up eating traditional Thai food prepared by my mom and my aunt using traditional recipes and cooking techniques. When we were developing the menu for ShopHouse, we knew we wanted those exotic flavors as the basis for many of the dishes.”
Housed in a minimal space, ShopHouse pairs the bold and complex flavors of Southeast Asia with fresh, sustainably raised ingredients, drawing on the dishes and cooking techniques of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore. The menu at ShopHouse features bold, assertively spiced dishes that are remarkably light and well balanced. ShopHouse’s chicken satay is made with naturally raised chicken, marinated overnight in coconut milk, dried spices, lemongrass, and other herbs, and then grilled. Steak laab takes naturally raised beef, which is crusted in spices and seared, then tossed in a cilantro-lime fish sauce and mixed with toasted rice.
Vegetables are cooked in a hot wok, and include green beans with roasted chili jam and shallots; eggplant with Thai basil; charred corn with garlic and sesame; and broccoli with fermented chili. Priced well under $10, dishes are prepared using traditional Southeast Asian herbs and spices like galangal, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, and chilies. Customers order at the counter, and can see directly into an open kitchen — a format similar to the one that has become a hallmark of Chipotle restaurants.
The latest ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is located at 1059 Broxton Avenue, Westwood, CA 90024; The restaurant will be open seven days a week, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.