Lunch at Destroyer a couple months ago took me by surprise. A breakfast lunch spot? Really?
Destroyer looks like a Locals Only hipster coffee bar with 5-star gourmet cuisine. This restaurant may have a strange business model yet it seems to be everything that adds up to success.
There is no table service at Destroyer. One simply goes to the counter, glances at the menu projected on the wall, and order. The Server gives you an order number and you’re off looking for a spot to eat. Inside there are very few tables and chairs to sit. The outside patio has communal tables. Place your order number on the clippy and wait for the servers to bring the food to you.
We ordered everything on the menu to get an overall dose of the chef’s interpretation of cuisine. Every single dish we ordered was phenomenal. Most dishes were vegetarian. Half of the dishes on the menu are cold dishes and the other half are hot ones.
All dishes at Destroyer were made with at least four ingredients. Each dish had all the wonders of flavors and texture combinations of the season and they were quaintly presented in an unassuming bowl. The portion sizes were about right for one person and yet the food was seemingly perfect to share between 3 – 4 people.
My absolute favorites:
1. The English Peas with Job’s Tears, gooseberries, and almonds. I’ve had my share of eating English Pea dishes at other restaurants in Los Angeles, but the one at Destroyer highlighted this particular seasonal produce the best.
2. The Roasted Baby Yams with avocado, yogurt, and walnut. Chef Jordan Kahn’s interpretation of Baby Yams blew me away. The yams were presented like a lead singer of a band in front of the spotlight. There was a richness and almost meatier texture to the yams. It helped to slightly toss all of the ingredients together in the bowl before taking the first bite. It enhanced the flavors to a much bigger level.
3. The Rice Porridge with caramelized broccoli, puffed rice, and burnt onion. Okay, this porridge was not quite risotto and not quite congee. There was a sort of raging minimalist interpretation of how the porridge tasted. Light, delicate, subtle. An endearing dish to eat.
4. The Beef Tartare with smoked egg cream, pickled mushroom, and radish sprouts. By far, the best interpretation of Beef Tartare in Los Angeles. Sorry Chef Ludo Lefebvre, Chef Jordan Kahn took over the #1 spot.
It is no wonder why every food and travel publication recognizes Destroyer as a must go to foodie destination in the Los Angeles area. Its talented chef, Jordan Kahn, does a lot of amazing work with the fresh seasonal produce. That’s it. In my humble opinion, he is among three chefs in LA who know who have the talent to make exceptional dishes with vegetables.
Destroyer 3578 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232
$$, breakfast and lunch only. No reservations. Cash and credit card accepted, communal seating, street parking only. Casual, trendy ambiance.