By Christina Mueller

Published on August 4, 2015

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Photography by Alan Lin

by Christina Mueller

E.P. & L.P.
, LA’s hottest new eatery, boasts multi-level dining and a menu that re-imagines Asian flavors from Fijian-Chinese-Indian-Australian rising star chef Louis Tikaram, winner of Australia’s 2014 Best Young Chef award. The restaurant (EP) and rooftop lounge (LP), designed by Melbourne’s Projects of Imagination, boast epic views and a few key design elements that make the space feel modern yet comfortable. Chef Tikaram’s family-style recipes perfectly complement the scene. The design duo behind Projects of Imagination, Nick Cox and Dion Hall, share their tips on how to optimize your indoor-outdoor living space.

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Photography by Alan Lin

Allow metals to express themselves with natural finishes

“Consider the beauty of metals which are allowed to remain in their natural state,” says Cox, who introduced copper as a primary material. Copper, used on table tops, bar surfaces, screens and overhead louvres, will naturally look different in each location as some surfaces, like the table tops, get “roughed up” more than others, adding new and different textures over time. “We see this as a beautiful interplay of material, nature and time.” 

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Think beyond ‘common’ domestic scales

“Don’t be afraid to think generously when applying principles of scale,” says Hill. “One larger gesture can have more significant impact.”  To design EP&LP, Projects of Imagination first divided the space into various “pockets of space” and within each space, one design element was increased in scale. This shift in proportion distinguished each smaller space within the context of the overall space and is particularly visible around the enlarged fire pits and green onyx chef’s table.

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Mirrors, too, in spaces small and large, are often used in industrial and residential settings to create the illusion of an increased sense of space. “The mirrors have been strategically placed throughout the restaurant to help facilitate greater depth of field 

illusions,” says Hall.

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Bespoke Elements – Consider custom elements to help create an individual story

“Throughout the restaurant we focused on several artisan makers to help define specific elements,” says Cox. “This helps create the overall story via introducing intricate details and special experiences.” One of the commissions was with Shane Kent, an Australian-based ceramist, who produced the insert for the entrance handle and several vessels for plants. “The handle in particular is critical,” says Cox. “It is the first contact with the building and its interior. The door handle is the handshake of the building.”

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A wonderful custom copper pineapple serving piece at 
E.P. & L.P.
.

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Bonus: How to make LP Nachos!

By Executive Chef Louis Tikaram

Serves 2 people as a snack

The tamarind in this dish pulls the dish’s disparate elements – sweet sour  salty & slightly hot – into delicious balance. Look for yellow soy bean paste and tamarind paste at Asian markets and the Asian food aisle of some supermarkets.

Ingredients

2 cloves peeled garlic

1 knob (about 1-inch piece) peeled ginger

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 lb. ground chicken 

1 cup coconut cream 

½ cup chicken stock 

¼ cup yellow bean paste 

1 pinch roasted red chile pepper powder 

1 tablespoon palm sugar or light brown sugar

3 tabs fish sauce 

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

Cassava, yucca or sweet potato chips

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

1 stick lemon grass finely sliced

2 kaffir lime leaves finely sliced

1. Pound ginger and garlic in a mortar & pestle to a fine paste. Heat oil over medium-high heat; add ginger and garlic and sauté until golden, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the ground chicken meat and cook, stirring frequently until chicken begins to break up.

3. Stir in the coconut cream and chicken stock and season with the yellow bean paste, roasted red chile pepper powder, sugar & fish sauce stirring continuously until the chicken is cooked & not lumpy, about 8 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as needed.

4. Stir in the tamarind. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, serve the warm coconut chicken garnished with the cilantro, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaf. Place cassava crackers beside the bowl on a serving plate. Serve.