In a city that’s famous for its convergence of diverse cultures, one can but wonder if chef Steven Fretz (Top Round, XIV) took inspiration from Los Angeles for his latest bizarre, albeit exciting, fusion concept The Church Key. Billed as a modern American take on dim sum, waitresses (in what can only be described as retro air-hostess uniforms) push around food-bearing carts in a space that wears the shabby post-industrial chic look well, replete with worn brick walls, open fire, and peeling painted ceilings reminiscent of an unrestored church eave.
However, the Chinese dim sum concept begins and ends with the roaming carts and bite-size plates, for Fretz’ painterly offerings fuse all manner of gastronomic influences from Indian and Japanese, to Greek and French. Highlights include the tuna tartare mixed with juicy pomegranate pips and spots of Greek yogurt, and served with a golden house-made poppadom; rabbit roulade rolled up with cranberries and pickled mustard seeds; and pig ear ‘Cheetos’ with a creamy guacamole side (just trust us on this one). Meanwhile, Devon Espinosa (ink., Pour Vous) is shaking things up behind the bar with creative cocktails like the Fashioned Chai (Applejack brandy, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and a house chai syrup), or alternatively grab a boozy lollipop off the cart ‒ amen to that!
8730 Sunset Blvd / +1 424 249 3700 / 5.30pm-2am Mon-Sat / thechurchkeyla.com