Jordan Kahn, the enfant terrible of LA dining (in a past life, he visually outed an LA Times restaurant critic), has been quietly operating Destroyer, his tiny 16-seat Culver City breakfast and lunch spot, since September 2017.
The inspiration for the interiors? “I wanted to create a minimalist space void of superfluousness, a neutral canvas for the food, ceramics, and people,” he says. “Often, the professional kitchen is a space associated with noise and chaos. I wanted to create a more tranquil environment to encourage the interaction between the chefs and guests.”
“The design focus was to create the most Instagrammable space possible,” he says. “Sounds totally douchey, I know. But nothing contributes to a restaurant’s following, mythology, or intrigue the way Instagram does. (As one Instagrammer says, “It’s nearly impossible not to feel like you’re eating food from the future at Destroyer.”)
Photos by Laure Joliet for Remodelista.
Like his previous avant-garde LA restaurant, Red Medicine, the interiors have an industrial vibe. Working with his partner, Carol Ann Emquies, Kahn has created a neutral, sunlit space that lets the cuisine take center stage. “Much of the interior is about highlighting the original materials from when the building was first constructed in the 1940s,” Kahn says. “We preserved the original concrete floor, steel beams, and bow-truss wood ceiling and added obscured windows of ribbed glass with CorTen steel frames.”
“This is a very personal project,” Kahn says, “I’ve been fortunate to have met some incredible artists in Los Angeles, all of whom are connected through food in some capacity or another. Rather than purchasing ingredients from a spreadsheet or ordering furniture from a catalog, we had the opportunity to create our vision for food and beverage in the context of a space that highlights the work of all of my friends.”
Stay tuned: Kahn is opening his radical new “architecture-inspired” restaurant, Vespertine, across the street from Destroyer, later this spring. “It’s a secret project I’ve been working on for four years, an experimental dining concept housed inside an architectural masterpiece designed by architect Eric Owen Moss. The meal will be a three-plus hour event which will take you through the various realms of the four-level structure, featuring a a flurry of 24 courses.”
Check out a few more edgy California spots we like:
- Restaurant Visit: Trouble Coffee in Oakland
- East Meets West: Inside Range Life in California
- Restaurant Visit: A Nightbird in Flight, in San Francisco
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on March 2, 2017.