Woogene Lee and Jeffrey Faust built Fundamental LA into a neighborhood favorite by serving sandwiches by day and composed plates by night in Westwood. The duo recently expanded downtown with sleek new Fundamental DTLA right near Whole Foods. The airy space features plenty of plant-life and basket lanterns, comfortable booths, and a bar. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which requires even heavier lifting, so they brought in talented baker Beth Kellerhals, who created Earl Grey tea pie for The Pie Hole, to fill a pastry case with tantalizing treats throughout the day.
From a back counter perch, Faust hoisted a huge Pyrex baking pan. I wasn’t sure what was inside, but pretty much by the time Faust could say, “Would you like a slice of apple pie?,” I had a plate on my table. The slab of Caramel Apple Cheddar Pie ($4) featured a flaky butter crust lined with sharp molten cheddar. The core was bursting with fresh caramelized fruit and no gelatinous filler that plagues lesser pies. This pie is listed on Fundamental DTLA’s menu, but a pie this good deserves a place of prominence. On my next visit, I hope to see the pie front row, center, under spotlights.