The barkeep is talking to a regular about gentian-root liqueurs when 25-year-old Miles Thompson emerges from the kitchen. With the intensity of a prophet, he arrives at your table to deliver a plate of Dungeness crab custard with lobes of uni and pickled strips of hajikami ginger root. There’s a certain fearlessness to the chef, who worked at Son of a Gun and did the pop-up thing (the Vagrancy Project) before landing at this 1920s stucco box in Echo Park. The only meat in a tasting menu may be in the first-course beef tongue cappelletto, tiny pasta capsules presented on a seared spinach leaf. Dessert involves the earthy notes of Jerusalem artichokes. Every direction seems promising to Thompson, who compresses the possibilities into the indentation at the center of a white plate.
Above: Sword fin squid