Chef/owner Aaron Clayton (at the top) is dedicated to personally sourcing his ingredients so that what you taste is really fresh.
From these dishes, you can tell that pea tendrils, asparagus and artichokes were in top form when he created this menu for Origin Cafe's inaugural dinner.
Origin Cafe opened in May and by September was already on its third menu. This is how responsive Clayton is to seasonal and fresh ingredients. "It's amazing what you can do with high quality ingredients," he says.
Serving only breakfast and lunch at first, the cafe now offers dinner Tuesday through Thursday. The dinners are prix fixe, priced at $30 for three courses and $40 for four. Above, he's with girlfriend Julie, who stepped in to help with the first night's dinner service.
The atmosphere is bright and contemporary, decorated with art work and photos by family and friends. A long menu of coffees and teas is written in chalk on a blackboard.
The space is small, so the lanky (6'4") chef can easily leave the kitchen and circulate among the tables. Raised in Encino, he cooked in Tel Aviv and as a private chef before opening the cafe.