Monday, August 27, 2012

My sister who is a retired chef and professional diner comes to town. She says she wants to eat lots of different items and “snack” and catch up. No bar food, pizza or sushi she says. I automatically think cheese boards, pates, charcuterie this type of upgraded picnic if you will. I steer us to a place I come to love Waterloo & City 12517 West Washington Blvd Culver City CA. This exiting food venue is the brainchild of Brendan Collins and partner Carlos Tamazos. These two brilliant restaurateurs have put together a great feeling for your dining out in style. Besides the fact that this place is extremely bustling they put up exquisite and tantalizing food and drink. The atmosphere is relaxed yet serious. Waitrons have impeccable food knowledge and are quick w guidelines and changing menu offerings. Chef Collins is steeped in the art of charcuterie. His pates, cured meats and pickling techniques are flawless. His attention to detail shows in every plate you see going out into the dining room. He uses a very large army in his virtually open kitchen and he is averaging around two hundred covers on a weeknight. Not an easy task. Much of the prep that goes into charcuterie service is done months before and requires years of training to procure. So when you are getting Salmon terrine or pate of pig trotters and sweetbreads you know that a lot of time and technique went into this food. My favorite was the chicken liver mousse while my sister fell deeply for the Rabbit and Pistachio terrine. So you want the Wild boar terrine and the smoked tongue, carrot terrine, who can decide? We are in luck; they offer a few options so everyone is happy. You may choose from Commoner, Prince, or King size selection and mix and match all you want with pickled onions, cornichons and various cured meats. We could stop there but what about dinner? These are the most amazing plate presentations I have seen so far. Beautiful, quant yet not too fussy was the classic Ceasar salad. This retro dish is held to its highest peak as its delivered with anchovy filets, farm to table Romaine and a perfect 60 degree egg all encompassed in a circular crouton. The vinaigrette was smooth and sophisticated; this is by far the most memorable salad Iv had in quite some time. Next we tried the chilled Thai Gazpacho with Peekytoe Crab and Coconut. This was a very well executed melding of flavors to my surprise and I don’t usually order crab. This evening I was glad I did.
The soup was spectacular and the crab so fresh it was breathtaking. So we’ve been sharing so is there a need to press on into this fortress of a menu? Of coarse when I peek into entrées I am quick to select the Short Rib Ravioli and the Indian Butter Chicken pizza for the table. We share and all find the dishes to far exceed expectation. The pizza had curry spiced chicken and a cucumber ribbon salad in the middle so you could dress each slice w the yogurt and cucumber mixture. The Ravioli was rich and wonderful, complete w a note of truffle in the sauce complementing the spinach and Cipollini onion. I’m so looking forward to my next culinary adventure at WC. I will defiantly have the Fish and Chips in this gastonamique haven of merry gluttony. The cooks in Bowler hats all toiling to ‘London calling’ by the Clash and a passionate chef putting his heart into the “gastopub” food of his Brit heritage. That is the picture in this burgeoning Culver City eatery.

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