Hip Omakase Sushi By Scratch Restaurants Pop Up at Beverly Wilshire

While omakase—which means “I’ll leave it up to you” in Japanese—is typically a serious and studious meal comprised of small courses decided on by the chef, Sushi By Scratch Restaurants riffs on the dining format by infusing it with some, well, fun.

Since debuting in Los Angeles eight years ago, the concept started by husband-and-wife restaurateurs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee has successfully landed in other major U.S. cities such as Miami, Austin, and Seattle, with reservations snapped up immediately once they’re made available.

Last weekend, Sushi By Scratch Restaurants added another urban destination to its roster: Beverly Hills. Available through early October, this immersive 60-day pop-up at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel guides diners on a progressive meal of 17 pieces of nigiri in a sleek converted space—only 12 chef counter seats are available—in the storied property’s Royal Suite.

Of this exciting partnership, Phillip Frankland Lee comments, “This experience is a journey come full circle; our first restaurant was in Beverly Hills on restaurant row over ten years ago.” As for how Sushi By Scratch Restaurants’s concept was hatched, Lee drew inspiration from his days growing up in California’s San Fernando Valley and being surrounded by sushi restaurants. Since his first decade in the culinary industry was largely spent in Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurants, it seemed natural to combine his professional training with his lifelong love of omakase-style dining.

While there’s a glut of quality omakases in the Los Angeles area, Sushi By Scratch Restaurants stands out for several reasons. The seafood is exceptionally fresh, since it’s flown in twice weekly from Tokyo’s famed Toyosu Fish Market. The setting is swanky like a speakeasy, with diners being welcomed with a special cocktail in a dark parlor before being escorted to the sushi counter where they’re offered curated Japanese beverage pairings by certified Sake Sommelier and Director of Food & Beverage Gavin Humes. And given the very limited number of seats, the vibe is warm and familial. Diners are encouraged to ask the chefs and sommeliers questions, and get chummy with fellow guests.

But it’s the imaginative and decadent spins on sushi that’s generated Sushi By Scratch Restaurants plenty of buzz and awards, including a Michelin star. Some of Lee’s favorite signature creations include the hamachi “painted yellow with sweet corn pudding and topped with breadcrumbs made from my wife Margarita’s famous sourdough”—and a roasted bone marrow nigiri “seasoned simply with soy sauce, sea salt, and freshly grated wasabi root.” Even dessert, which feels like an afterthought at other omakases, is highly considered. “The experience concludes with Margarita’s Bon Bon made from makrut lime, white chocolate, and shortbread, and is paired with hot green tea brewed with a bit of umeshu plum wine, smoked lavender honey, and fresh yuzu,” says Lee.

The pop-up couldn’t have been more timely, either, since Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel recently wrapped a sweeping rooms renovation project. “This joining of like-minded brands, who are looking to innovate and provide exemplary guest experiences, does just that with this immersive dining experience inside of our Royal Suite,” comments Reed Kandalaft, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel. “Sushi by Scratch Restaurants offers what we provide our guests: surprise and delights from beginning to end. It’s certainly a not-to-be-missed experience.”

* Reservations for Sushi By Scratch Restaurants’ pop-up at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons, Hotel are available here.

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