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Photograph: Courtesy Sushi|Bar/Jakob N. Layman

Surprise! Chef Phillip Frankland Lee is opening a speakeasy sushi bar today

By
Stephanie Breijo
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Chef Phillip Frankland Lee's been busy. When he hasn't been sharing his L.A. picnic tips or launching a new casual, seafood-focused restaurant, he's been secretly planning Sushi|Bar, his new eight-seat speakeasy. And while there will be cocktails, this hidden strip-mall spot isn't serving up Prohibition chic; instead, it's adding a 16-course, $110 omakase sushi menu to Lee's growing Encino empire. It was only in April that he launched Woodley Proper—his cocktail-heavy collaboration restaurant with Devon Espinosa and Margarita Kallas-Lee—and that's precisely where you'll find Sushi|Bar when it opens today.

Simply enter Woodley Proper and add your name to a chalkboard waitlist, and once the 5, 7 and 9pm seatings begin, you'll be led to a 1930s-Japan-inspired room where you'll be able to try some of Lee's creative takes on nigiri and the sushi-bar experience: sweet-corn-brushed yellowtail; yam with salmon roe and mushroom dashi; sushi rice topped with roasted bone marrow.

The new restaurant marks Lee's fourth concept in the area, and this one also involves his wife Kallas-Lee, along with sous chef Kirk Sandel and Benjamin Schrader, the latter stirring up boozy tea cocktails such as matcha with yuzu for an additional $55 beverage add-on. Sadly, you'll find no reservations here, so be sure to get there early—especially as this is opening weekend.

Sushi|Bar is located within Woodley Proper at 16101 Ventura Blvd, serving a $110 omakase menu Wednesday through Sunday with seatings at 5, 7 and 9pm.

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