Plan Check coming to Santa Monica, Scratch Bar opens in Encino, Charcoal now open in Venice

Plan Check is opening a location in Santa Monica. Pictured is the Plan Check burger made with ketchup leather.

Plan Check is opening a location in Santa Monica. Pictured is the Plan Check burger made with ketchup leather.

(Plan Check Kitchen and Bar)

The L.A. restaurant scene isn’t slowing down. If you’re trying to keep up, here are some new and notable happenings.

Plan Check, the burger-centric restaurant with locations on Sawtelle Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue and in downtown L.A., is opening a location in Santa Monica. Owner Terry Heller made the announcement via Facebook Monday, after plans for the new location were approved.

“One huge step closer to opening our fourth location!” wrote Heller. “Had a hearing to approve our design and was unanimously approved.”

No word yet on an exact location, or whether chef Ernesto Uchimura has something special planned for Santa Monica, but we’ll keep you posted.


Scratch Bar and Kitchen is now open in Encino. Chef and owner Phillip Frankland Lee’s Ventura Boulevard restaurant will be the second iteration of Scratch Bar, the Beverly Hills restaurant Lee closed this summer after a two-year run.

The restaurant features a 12-foot wood-burning oven and a chef’s counter that seats 16. And don’t expect waiters to take your order when you sit down. The chefs themselves will take care of the guests, ask for preferences and design a custom menu. Expect locally-sourced meat, fish and vegetables along with sweets from Lee’s wife and pastry chef, Margarita Lee.

Scratch Bar and Kitchen will offer seven- to 25-course tasting menus that range in price from $40 to $120, as well as beer and wine. Cocktails should be available by next year. The restaurant will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday to Saturday and from 5 p.m. Sunday. For more, check out this exclusive first look with Lee. 16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino, (818) 646-6085,

Melisse chef and owner Josiah Citrin has opened Charcoal in Venice. The Washington Boulevard restaurant is on the more casual side (Melisse is known for fine dining), and the menu features comfort foods served in large portions, meant to be shared. As the name suggests, dishes will be cooked using charcoal in a wood oven.

Menu items include a half chicken with salsa verde; 48-ounce dry-aged Porterhouse; coal-roasted carrots and collard greens. And there will be plenty of cocktails, craft beer and wine.

The space was designed by DEX Studio’s Glen Bell and features communal and individual tables and sliding windows for an ocean breeze. Charcoal is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. 425 Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, (310) 751-6794,

My mom says I’m a pretty good dinner date. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_


Champagne a little too expensive? 9 alternative bubblies for the holidays

Philly cheesesteaks with Cheez Whiz on the South Philly Experience truck

It’s National Brownie Day: Here are 7 super-decadent brownie recipes, plus one for brownie pie