Chef Minh Phan's Phenakite takes up residence at a co-working office space called Second Home Hollywood, nestled among trees and within a beautifully maintained structure built by the pioneering architect, Paul R. Williams. Named after a rare crystal, this ambitious restaurant debuted in the midst a global health crisis and its—utterly romantic—setting reflects as much with dining being entirely outdoors—at curvaceous tables arranged under a blanket of garden lights.
Chef Phan is a veritable firecracker, as she greets guests like long-lost friends and pours wine for anyone who looks thirsty. Sharing her undeniable enthusiasm, the staff—made up of chefs who serve the same dishes they’ve helped create—proudly present an array of Asian-inspired items. Subtle, elegant flavors and singular textures show up in spades in such deeply personal creations as mochi dumpling with lardon and sugar snap peas; or torched-eucalyptus and pink peppercorn leaves that create a cloud of smoke for seared swordfish.
Save room for the best in show—abalone liver porridge, cooked in brown butter, and accompanied by more of the meaty mollusk. It is a masterclass in comfort and refinement.