Chef Q&A: Louis Tikaram of E.P. & L.P.
Chef Louis shares the cultural influences behind his cooking
“I think that the food scene at the moment is really amazing. People are interested in where the chef is from, how they learned to cook, and the journey they’ve been through to get to their restaurants.” – Chef Louis Tikaram of E.P. & L.P.
E.P. is an Asian eating house with Thai roots that incorporates Chinese, Fijian, and Vietnamese flavors, blending them with the freshest California produce. It’s the perfect menu to dine family style and explore all the classic flavors of Southeast Asia. The L.P. rooftop bar serves Asian-inspired street food and hand-crafted cocktails, along with stunning views of the Hollywood Hills and Los Angeles.
Chef Louis Tikaram is known for creating flavorful dishes that put a modern spin on traditional dishes. He grew up in Australia but was able to explore his Fijian and Chinese heritage through cooking. Chef Louis talked to us about the inspirations for his cooking from childhood memories to living in Los Angeles.
What is unique about your restaurant and the dishes you serve?
E.P. is really unique because we serve traditional Southeast Asian cuisine in a modern setting. You can have a really great recipe, like the vegetable curry, that you can have with a great glass of wine or a really cool take on a cocktail. We’re bringing the modern flavors of southeast Asia into a really cool environment.
What brought you to West Hollywood?
I like to say that I didn’t find West Hollywood – West Hollywood really found me. When we opened, I didn’t understand the magnitude of how well my cuisine fit the clientele in West Hollywood, where I brought a ton of vegetarian and vegan options to the menu, with really minimal gluten, dairy, and added sugars. I always knew West Hollywood was focused around good quality food and healthy living, and that was really a draw for us.
What’s your earliest memory of cooking?
My earliest memory of cooking was with my grandmother in Fiji probably when I was about 6 or 7. I used to pick the coconuts and scrape them and hand squeeze the coconut cream that we used to make Kokoda with – which is on the menu at E.P. at the moment.
What’s your specialty dish?
Well, some say I’m the king of curry. I think it’s definitely all the handmade curry paste and the spices. The results are just incomparable when making a curry from scratch and serving it in the restaurant. I definitely think my curries are the standout on the menu.
What would you say is the importance of food in our culture?
I think that now we have so much more awareness of people’s stories, where they’re from, and what culture they’re from. Basically – helping tell stories of people’s lives through food. I think that the food scene at the moment is really amazing. People are interested in where the chef is from, how they learned to cook, and the journey they’ve been through to get to their restaurants.
How has being in California shaped your food sourcing practices?
Being in California and having the richness of the produce that I serve in the restaurant has been a really important journey for me. I just love to promote produce like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, turmeric, brussels sprouts and kale. Using the produce that’s grown here has definitely shaped my menu so I to try to promote these ingredients as much as possible.
603 NORTH LA CIENEGA BOULEVARD, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069