Acclaimed chef Angelo Sosa’s new restaurant, Kembara, has a vibe. It’s cool. It’s sleek. It’s vibrant. And the food and drinks are divine.
The restaurant held a VIP grand opening, which offered a sneak peek at the locale and drew a host of celebrity chefs, notables, influencers, and executives.
This latest project from Chef Sosa—the award-winning chef who was also a fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef—and his long-time business partner and restaurant developer Mark Stone reflects the pair’s culinary odysseys traveling, cooking, and tasting across Asia throughout their careers, and embraces the rich tapestry of Asian street food culture. The menu draws inspiration from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan.
The opening featured a plethora of bite-sized samples from the menu, from meat and seafood to vegetarian and vegan options.
Guests will find a menu filled with appetizers such as the Tuna Thai Jewel, a twist on the Thai dessert called tub tim krob and made with tuna sashimi, turmeric tapioca-dusted jicama, fresh herbs and herb oil, chilled in a lemongrass-ginger broth and a Lamb Spring Roll, inspired by Indian lamb samosas and reimagined as a spring roll filled with ground lamb with fresh herbs, dusted with curry salt, and served with strained yogurt and green Thai Chili.
Main dishes range from the Black Pepper Maine Lobster, a riff on a Singaporean dish tossed with black pepper, oyster sauce, and ginger; Wagyu Beef Rendang, a Malaysian comfort food staple braised in chili sambal; and Lemongrass Pork Collar, inspired by Vietnamese grilled porkchop, marinated in lemongrass, garnished with herbs, and a light fish sauce.
There’s also a full vegetarian menu, with selections such as the Tofu Larb, Silken Chili Tofu, and a Massaman Vegetable Curry made with Japanese yams, carrots, bamboo shoots, and spices. And, of course, a variety of noodle and rice dishes.
Equal thought and attention to detail were put into creating the drink menu. Cocktails incorporate Asian spirits and ingredients in unique ways. For example, Remains of the Day is a martini made with Roku Gin, Bermutto (a Japanese-made vermouth), housemade dashi brine, and Japanese bitters. There is also an extensive sake list, curated by renowned wine and sake judge, sake ambassador, and sommelier Eduardo Dingler, and the most extensive collection of Asian spirits in the region, as well as one of the largest in the country.
The space itself was designed by notable L.A.-based designer Thomas Schools and is a nod to an Asian night market, with a moody yet vibrant space indoors—think hand-blown glass wall sconces and neon rope lights—and an outdoor garden space with rope lights and colorful umbrellas outdoors. There are also two private dining rooms.