Inside the new Workshop Kitchen & Bar in Los Angeles, the modernist diner live in Palm Springs
From Friday August 12, dinner at Kitchen & Bar Workshop will no longer need a two-hour hike to get to Palm Springs: third-generation Angeleno Michael Beckman and his business partner Joe Mourani have brought the stark design and French-influenced dishes to the famed desert restaurant. Busy La Brea – and it opens this week.
A Los Angeles location of the restaurant (now located inside the Continental Graphics Building at 127 S. La Brea Avenue) has been under construction since 2018, with Beckman securing a lease in the historic building that once housed a printing press, as well under the now-closed restaurant name Odys + Penelope, in 2019.
Much like the Palm Springs outpost, the new Workshop Kitchen & Bar leans heavily on Brutalist architecture, reinforced by the building’s Queen trusses, exposed brick, and 20-foot ceilings. Instead of booths, eight massive 14-foot concrete dining “cocoons” backlit with a soft glow give the experience of dining in an art installation. A central skylight in the restaurant’s ceiling provides natural light, complemented by pendant lights by Italian designer iGuzzini. The restaurant’s second-level mezzanine has a view of the dining room and a heavy community-style concrete dining table. Beckman worked with Soma Architects the founder Michel Abboud on the design, with the aim of a complementary space to the original.
Beckman’s food menu will draw on produce from Santa Monica Farmer’s Market vendors such as Sage Farms, Valdivia Farms and Gone Straw Farms, as well as fruits and vegetables from Beckman’s own garden. Two five-course tasting menus will be available, both priced at $90. One will offer fish and meat, with dishes such as yellowtail crudo with rhubarb tea, blood orange, fennel oil and radish, as well as halibut à la bouillabaisse sauce, morels, marinated fresno peppers and tom kha mousse. An entirely vegetable menu will offer braised artichokes with gnocchi, sungold tomato coulis, crispy artichokes and cucumber flowers.
Additional dishes, such as an Aussie pizza with winter truffles from the restaurant’s wood-fired oven and fried chicken oyster mushrooms with bread and buttered pickles, will be available at an additional cost. For dessert, there’s also a rolling cheese cart, from which diners can select local cheeses, homemade bread, shaved truffles and vintage dessert wines.
To complement the food, diners can choose from two wine pairings, one featuring all California wine ($65) and another featuring aged and vintage varietals ($85). There’s also a list of 240 options by the bottle, with a focus on European and Californian biodynamic producers.
Cocktails will play as big of a role as at the original location, with head bartender Jessi Lorraine creating seasonal drinks like the Kitchen Sink Martini (gin, white and dry vermouths, orange bitters, lemon oil and seasonal pickles), Sherry Cobbler (Oloroso and East Indian serries, Armenian brandy, arrack and a compote of blackberries and raspberries) and Trocadero Punch (rum, batavia arrack, Aperol, lime, pineapple gum and sparkling wine).
Workshop Kitchen & Bar will be open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.