The newest Encino eatery from a veteran culinary entrepreneur has received a Michelin star.

Pasta|Bar received the prestigious ranking when Michelin Guide California announced this year’s star recipients, recognizing five new restaurants awarded two Michelin star status and 22 new restaurants garnering one Michelin star awards.

The restaurant — at 16101 Ventura Blvd. near Woodley Avenue — is the latest concept from chef and owner Phillip Frankland Lee, who also created Scratch Bar & Kitchen and Sushi Bar, both in Encino. Lee is known for his curated multi-course gourmet service to small groups at counters, in the style of omakase sushi restaurants.

Opened in June 2020, Pasta|Bar saw only five indoor services before state pandemic protocols forced the establishment to shift gears to outdoor dining until last November. Nevertheless, since the restaurant’s April reopening, the pasta tasting menu has continued to gain a following and was also singled out this year by Los Angeles Magazine.

Pasta|Bar has been elevated from the New Discovery category to one Michelin star. In the notes from Michelin judges, Pasta|Bar received the following commentary:

“The mastery of this team lies in their ability to take full advantage of California’s natural bounty, with thrilling results, as seen in cavatelli with a glossy, butter-rich lobster sauce, with spring peas and chunks of sweet meat; or an exalted take on the caprese by way of marigold tomatoes, mozzarella, fennel flowers and avocado.”