I admit I was a little skeptical when I first read the menu at the new Plan Check Kitchen + Bar in Los Angeles (the brand's second outpost overall, just opened in December in the Fairfax District). But between the "salmon pastrami" and bonito-infused beer, can you really blame me for thinking things seemed a little, erm, fishy? (Badumtsss.)
Jokes aside, just like its flagship location, Plan Check Fairfax combines rich, Asian-influenced comfort foods by executive chef Ernesto Uchimura such as fried jidori chicken and kalbi pot roast with an extensive beer, wine, and liquor program helmed by cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello. Not to mention the big open windows, wooden tables, and plenty of dark metal fixtures and tableware which also happen to make this spot a food porn lover's stickiest wet dream.
But hey, the food itself didn't hurt either.
Sweet Potato Fries
Fried in beef tallow, lightly sugared, and served with peach ketchup, these were just a little too sweet for me, but perfect for anyone who believes (rightfully) in eating dessert first.
Oysters on the Half
Great both on their own or dipped in a slightly spicy yuzukosho cocktail sauce.
"The Health Kick"
The key to a successful diet is understanding anything green is fair game. Celery juice, aquavit, mezcal, agave, and lime create a practically detoxifying combination just shy of a juice cleanse. Honest.
"The Last Tango"
With a head of St. Germain foam, this gin, strawberry, and balsamic mix tastes a bit like drinking salad dressing. But only in the best (and booziest) way possible.
"Fish Out of Water"
Ground shiso leaves float atop bonito-infused ginger beer, agave, and lemon. A little odd, sure, but 100% fun. The salt helps too.
Before this trip, I believed pastrami referred only to specially-cured deli meats, but I am so, so glad I was wrong. The only new menu item at Plan Check Fairfax, the salmon pastrami is served up with brined celery and squid ink cream cheese, neatly dressed atop an everything bagel chip. Buttery and salty, this thing is basically perfect. Just saying.
The Southern Fry
Dubbed the "kobe" of chicken, chef Uchimura's take on jidori deep fries that feathery sonumbitch and sits it atop spicy pimento cheese, duck breast ham, and pickles. This was by far the best, moistest chicken burger I've ever tasted (admittedly not a tough category, but still).
Chef's Favorite Burger
Featuring chef's signature dehydrated ketchup leather along with cheese, bacon, hot sauce, and a sunny-side up egg.
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
351 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036