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Going Underground

Raphael Farasat rises to the occasion for the covert new club Truffl.

CEO and founder Raphael Farasat

You might say that Raphael Farasat’s career mushroomed quickly—last year’s intern for the Umami Restaurant Group is this year’s CEO and founder of its choosy offshoot Truffl (truffl.com).

Within months of his hiring, the burger empire (which also lords over hot spots 800 Degrees and Red Medicine) promoted the 25-year-old to helm its latest foodie sensation, a private membership club with a curious name. “Everyone with good taste likes truffles, and like our events, they’re found underground,” Farasat explains.

With exclusivity and uniqueness as its M.O., Truffl launched in May with 200 charter members—think young, creative types—and a party at a rented Hollywood Hills pad, where each room staged a mini event with Umami Burger sliders and microbrew tastings, a Jitlada Thai dinner and glassblowing of the Truffl logo.

If anyone knows how to curate what the website calls “once in a lifetime experiences,” it’s Farasat, an L.A. native who, after college, flew to Australia with a one-way ticket and traveled the world for a year. Those adventures—like, say, stumbling upon two unassuming tree houses on the beach where English expats throw soirees for savvy travelers in Sihanoukville, Cambodia—are now being creatively recast stateside for Truffl.“How,” Farasat wonders, “do you come home, sit at a desk all day long and be satisfied with that?”

For Angelenos of the same mind, Farasat welcomes applications over the website. When accepted, the first step is filling out a taste profile, where one might “like” molecular gastronomy and electronic music, live in West Hollywood and be available Friday nights. Truffl then aims to create an event with those exact specifications, for five to 20 likeminded people. One of his dream collaborations? To host a recreation of Thailand’s Full Moon Party with New York and Portland eatery Pok Pok and local fave Night + Market. No passport required.

Farasat’s Hots
Japanese whiskey, everything Herman Miller, Abbot Kinney, Korean food, elbow patches

Farasat’s Nots
Bootsy Bellows, taxi drivers who won’t accept credit cards, people who don’t read books