WSLA: Camphor - Wine & Spirits Magazine

WSLA: Camphor

The dimly lit dining room at Camphor is both classic and industrial. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Camphor, with its marble table tops, white brick walls and exposed piping in the high ceilings, feels like a casual French bistro that’s adapted to its industrial Arts District setting. Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, who worked together at Blue by Alain Ducasse in Bangkok, create classic French fare touched by a South Asian spice palette, a nod to George’s South Indian home in Kerala. Try their fried anchovies in “gunpowder” spice, as addictive as fresh potato chips, or the onion tartine, a dish that deconstructs French onion soup—servers pour rich duck broth over a thick slice of bread topped with caramelized onions and ample amounts of Gruyère.

Wine Director Kalani Lau’s list focuses on Old World classics and unusual domestic wines, as well as wine pairings, like Movia Rebula Orange Wine with beef tartare or Ar.Pe.Pe. Sassella Valtellina Superiore with the mushrooms and Madeira sauce. On Bar Director Andrew Paniagua’s creative cocktail list, try Le Marsais, made with Cognac, Bourbon, 10-year Port and a verjus infused with strawberries from Harry’s Berries, an organic farm in Oxnard.

Camphor is part of our Top 30 LA List of 2023. Read the whole story here.

923 East 3rd Street, #109, Los Angeles, CA 90013



Based in Los Angeles, California, Alissa Bica is the Associate Editor at Wine & Spirits. She is also a sommelier at 71 Above and co-runs the home wine tasting company, Côte Brune and Blonde. In any rare moments of free time, she writes about obscure grape varieties in the blog Off the Beaten Wine Path.

This story appears in the print issue of Spring 2023.
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