There was a time, a few years back, when cleverness seemed to dominate the New American food dialogue, and one of the voices at the forefront of that dialogue in L.A. was Ernesto Uchimura. He was the opening chef of Umami Burger, the chain built on ingenuity and wit, and the chef who launched Plan Check, where he came up with items such as kim-cheese. At his new restaurant, Electric Owl in West Hollywood, you'll hear servers refer reverentially to Uchimura's days at Plan Check, telling customers, “He's the chef who invented ketchup leather.” But at Electric Owl, Uchimura takes a couple of baby steps away from that type of cleverness — dare I call it gimmickry? — toward cooking rooted in technique. Read Besha Rodell's full review here.
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