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LA Chefs’ Plates: Squid in a Box at Scratch Bar LA

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"Squid in a Box" has been on Scratch Bar's menu since there first day of operations June 25, 2013 at the current location on North La Cienaga. Prior to this opening, Chef Phillip Frankland Lee had previously prepared a similar squid dish without the box consisting of just roasted squid and mushrooms over charred eggplant. Though thnking he needed some "crunch", he added the box to this plate.

This box is made out of "potato noodles" cut with a rotary slicer. Once cut, these noodles are then wrapped around a block of wood, and then deep fried. Once the box is crispy, the sauteed companents of this dish are placed into the box that is sitting on the charred eggplant (as can be seen in the above accompanying video).

The plating like other menu items is minimal, simple, slightly rustic yet still elegant. Also like other menu items, the fundamentals and comforting aspects of what people expect are kept though reintepreted plus elevated to an higher and slighty whimsical level. As Chef Phillip Frankland Lee explains, "squid is more often than not served crispy usually with a nice dipping sauce. With this dish, the charred Japanese Eggplant Puree acts as the "dip", and though the squid is not breaded or crispy, it is stuffed into a crispy box made of potato that when broken apart adds the expected crunch. The Shimeji Mushrooms, arugula and sugar blistered tomatoes add even more sustenance to the dish."

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