No More Scratch | Bar for Phillip Frankland Lee, Beverly Hills

The <em>Chopped</em> winner has a new venue in his sights

It will be all vegan food for Phillip Frankland Lee for now. After two years, he unexpectedly and very quietly closed his Beverly Hills restaurant, Scratch | Bar. “It’s finally come to an end, well…more like an intermission,” the chef says in a statement. Apparently the fate of the restaurant has been up in the air of late, possibly due to tenant-landlord issues. “I have known for awhile that I would be losing the space,” Lee says. “So I tried riding it out as long as possible and have been fighting the clock to get a new space finalized and make a clean switch. Unfortunately the clock ran out on me.”

It’s too bad, too, because the DineLA menu looked pretty solid with its mussel and uni sake shooters, beef fat chips with yogurt and caviar, and grilled octopus. Guess we’ll have to wait for all of those.

He’s already talking about reopening in a “hipper” part of town with a more suitable chef’s counter-style dining room. Lee says they found and secured a location and are going through escrow now. “I can’t give away the location yet, but perhaps it will be in the Valley,” he adds with a smirk. The Chopped winner and wife Margarita already run and operate their vegan restaurant, The Gadarene Swine, in Studio City. So it’s eggplant boats, tomato sake shooters, and more seasonal plant-based fare until further notice.

The team is working towards a summer debut for the new Scratch | Bar, possibly within 60 days.

The Gadarene Swine, 11266 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; 818-508-5500