Culver City: Dinner and Cocktails at Muddy Leek
I checked Muddy Leek in Culver City recently. I had been hearing good things about the new American restaurant. Talk of foraging was intriguing. Plus they have a great bread and pastry program from Holden Burkons.
I was also pleasantly surprised how great the cocktails were. Muddy Leek took over the Batch space and retained a lot of the look and feel of the bar. I started with the boozy Sherbourne which is a good riff on a Manhattan style drink.
The Sherbourne – rye, Aperol, sweet vermouth, house bitters
On the happy hour list that day was the venison corndog. It was served with the house-made beer mustard. Chef Whitney has been doing beer dinners and I’d like to go to the next one. This bit was perfect.
Also from the small bites section, we got the shrimp and spinach that were loving placed on a bed of grits. Yes, please. The shrimp were perfectly grilled and quite juicy.
My friend loved the Blind Lemon Jefferson the best of the cocktails and I had a sip. This is what you want on a hot summer day.
Blind Lemon Jefferson – rye, lemon, bitters
Under sides, we chose the green garlic flan also as a starter. This was wonderful with the generous topping of mushroom atop a bed of creamy flan.
Chef Whitney sent out a leek and egg tart for us to try. My friend was telling me their tarts were great but we had decided not to get one due to the amount of food we were ordering. I’m glad I got to try it. The barely baked egg was key to the deliciousness.
One of the last drinks I tried, the Senor Calarita turned out to be the perfect during-dinner cocktail. It was a little bit savory and a just enough smokiness. I usually shy away from drinks with cucumber because I think they’re overdone but this was made very well.
Senor Calarita – mezcal, jalepeno, cucumber, lime
My friend got the Mary’s chicken breast. The roast chicken was a lot of food and included napa cabbage, cauliflower puree and potatoes.
Possibly my favorite cocktail of the evening, the innocent looking Malory Archer with a simple ingredient list packed the biggest whallop. I’d be interested in the specs for this drink.
Malory Archer – gin, blanc vermouth, Chartreuse
I can’t seem to help myself. I tend to order mac and cheese any time I spot it on the menu. And with spinach? Done and done. It was so filling, I had to stop after a couple of bites so I could tackle my main entree.
I was trying to decide between the steak or the lamb and ended up with the lamb because I like Moroccan food and wanted to check it out. The preserved lemon and dried plums really came through while the spicing was a bit more subtle. Swishing the lamb through the fantastic green sauce helped. I considered eating the lamb on the flatbread it came on but decided to be dainty and use a fork and knife.
Amaranth as I’m predicting is the next super food. While it won’t replace kale quite yet, pairing it with quinoa was a stroke of genius to grab the health-conscious.
When we heard there were a few rhubarb-only cobblers that night, we had to snatch one up. Pastry chef Holden was offering the rhubarb-blueberry cobbler that night but there weren’t quite enough blueberries to go around. I thought the rhubarb-only cobbler was quite unique and the perfect way to end our enormous meal.
Some people do fizz in the beginning but I actually went with a French 75 as my last cocktail. Sparkling wine is good anytime, right? And it was really the perfect pairing with the cobbler. I had it the original way with cognac instead of gin.
French 75 – cognac, lemon, sparkling wine
Muddy Leek is a charming neighborhood spot serving good food. Chef Whitney joked they’ve already been there longer than the last spot so let’s keep crossing our fingers. That stretch of Washington needs the luck!
(310) 838-2281 © The Minty 2013