5.11.17

Aggressive name aside, Destroyer, a minimalist cafe inside one of Culver City’s coolest neighborhoods, feels more like a gallery space for food than a casual weekday lunch spot. The simple architecture, overwhelmingly cool ceramics and modern, natural menu all intersect to create one of L.A.’s best food experiences right now. 

We caught up with the owners to talk about the unique space and menu. Get a glimpse into the magic below and grab an exclusive recipe to try at home…

The Philosophy

Destroyer is a response to, and a reflection of the ‘conjunctive points’, best known for transforming the Hayden Tract community in Culver City. It was created as a collective resolution to bring about social change in the community. By filling a very literal hunger, this project will use the ‘neighborhood cafe’ as a platform to bring various artists and creatives together.

At its simplest, Destroyer is a cafe atelier, serving delicious and beautiful food and beverage, and whose main function is to serve the community on a day-to-day basis. Providing a measure of sensitivity and consideration for what inspires and comforts our neighbors, is at the very core of our philosophy.

the Design

The inspiration for Destroyer has some Japanese and Scandinavian influences by way of creating a minimalist space void of superfluousness and creating a neutral canvas for the food, ceramics, and people.  Very often, the professional kitchen is a space associated with noise and chaos. Our goal was to create a more tranquil environment to encourage the interaction between the chefs and guests.

Much of the interior highlights original materials from when the building was first constructed in the 1940s. Original concrete floor, steel beams, bow-truss wood ceiling, obscured windows of ribbed glass, with CorTen steel frames. There are bleached white oak shelves and furniture too.

Apricot Spice Bread With Red Currant + Creme Fraiche

Ingredients:

For the spice bread:
4 cups whole milk
3 lbs ripe apricots
4 cups demerara sugar
4 whole eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 tsp spice mix (see below)
2/3 cup brown butter, melted

For the spice mix:
2 oz ground Saigon cinnamon
1 oz cloves, toasted
1 oz juniper berries, toasted
1 oz allspice berries, toasted
1 oz black pepper, toasted
1 oz star anise, toasted

For assembly:
homemade creme fraiche
fresh red currants
pink oxalis leaves

Directions:

For the spice bread:

Cut the apricots in half and remove the pit. Place in a dehydrator set to 135 F for 5 hours. Puree the apricots until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine the apricot puree, whole milk, demerara sugar, eggs and salt, and whisk for about 3 minutes.

Sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and spice mix, and add to the apricot mixture. Mix just until there are no lumps left.

Slowly add the brown butter while whisking until incorporated.

Transfer to a buttered loaf pan and bake at 315 F for 30-45 minutes, or until the cake is resilient and a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Remove the cake from pan and refrigerate.

For the spice mix:

Grind everything in a spice grinder until fine.

For assembly:

Cut a thick slice of spice bread. Pipe a layer of creme fraiche on one half of the cut side. Shingle the oxalis leaves along the cream. Carefully place a layer of red currants along the remaining half of the spice bread. Serve immediately.


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