Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee operate Scratch Restaurants, which includes their 10-year-old flagship Scratch Bar & Kitchen in Los Angeles as well as five Sushi by Scratch locations and two Pasta Bar units, all serving tasting-menu-only meals in and around Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, and Miami, with another Sushi by Scratch slated to open in Montreal next year.
The husband-and-wife team have opened four of those restaurants in the past six months, while also having their first child. While that seems like very rapid expansion for such a small company, the couple went about it methodically, developing staff to lead each of the restaurants and then expanding once they were ready.
True to the company’s name, everything they serve is made from scratch, including the food coloring that Kallas-Lee uses for desserts, and the prosciutto which required them to buy a ham and age it for three years. The result is a booming business and critical accolades, including two Michelin stars: Sushi By Scratch in Montecito, Calif., and Pasta Bar in Los Angeles were each awarded one star in 2021.
The couple recently discussed their approach with Restaurant Hospitality.