Culver City: New Chef Kyle Schutte at Corner Door
Chef Kyle Schutte took over the kitchen at Corner Door a few months ago. Known for his modernist, molecular cooking, I thought it was interesting he’s now at Corner Door known for its New American gastropub menu with awesome cocktails by head bartender Beau du Bois.
Chef Kyle has put his spin on the original menu and added some new dishes with a few fun touches. If those fun touches are considered modernist, so be it.
We started out with a charcuterie board complete with Chef Kyle’s mustard ice cream. Right off the bat, this was unusual. The quality of the cured meats was excellent and I really liked the chicken liver mousse. The mustard ice cream went very well with the meat, particularly with the pork jowl. And no meats plate is complete without pickled veggies. The pickled fennel fronds were great.
Beau has outdone himself with the current cocktails list. Focusing on more than just muddled fruit, he really utilizes the fresh ingredients. I’m allergic to melons so I only took a small sip of the Hotel Cartagena and 5-Year Plan, both melon based cocktails. If you think Midori is all there is to honeydew in a spirits sense, think again. And get yourself to Corner Door to try Hotel Cartegena with tequila and honeydew. I liked the direction this drink went with Southeast Asian flavors of curry and coconut as well.
Hotel Cartagena – tequila, honeydew, curry powder, coconut liqueur, lime, sugar
We debated whether we should get the cider-glazed wings or fried chicken. We decided to go more snacky and try out the wings.
I guess I can’t quit meatballs. Corner Door has a good one with good amount of shaved cheese.
Beau came up with the Taco Truck for this year’s Art Beyond the Glass, a charity event LA bartenders put together to raise funds for art education. It was so well received, he put it on the regular menu.
Taco Truck – mezcal, pineapple and cinnamon infused Campari, sweet vermouth
I liked the simple preparation of the burrata which came with asparagus, cherries, pea sprouts and peas. I thought this was different from the usual basil that goes with burrata and the cheese took on a different savory note with tarragon.
For vegetarians or if you just want something light and refreshing, the jicama tacos with pickled mango, candied lime, pink peppercorn was a really great starter. These are so amazing right now with the hot weather we’ve been having.
Risking my melon allergy again, I tasted the 5-Year Plan. I really wished I could have had more than a sip since I loved how fresh this was. The orgeat put you in mind of tiki but it’s not quite there. More like neo-tiki.
5-Year Plan – coriander infused demerara rum, cantaloupe, lemon, orgeat
The steamed mussels in green curry could be a meal in itself. Great flavors and I wanted a spoon to lap up the rest of the broth.
When I tell bartenders I like spicy cocktails, they should refer to Beau’s Little Torch. It’s balanced and won’t destroy your sense of taste even though it’s probably spicier than you think it’d be. That’s because the habenero keeps gathering heat which gets extended with the sprinkled cayenne. I love this modern Pisco sour variation.
Little Torch– pisco, habanero infused pineapple gomme, cayenne, egg white, citrus, yuzu bitters
You can’t have a gastropub without a burger. Why is it square? I don’t know, maybe it’s easier to get to the thick patty? The Corner Door burger is pretty awesome on its own but add in bone marrow mayo and you got something special.
Don’t forget to order fries with your burger!
What kind of cocktail enthusiast would I be if I didn’t order the Fernet cocktail? Try the Pencil Mustache if you like bitter, Fernet and sours like I do. And since it’s a sour, I could have had 2 more but I know that Fernet would have sneaked up on me.
Pencil Mustache – Fernet, tamarind, egg white, lime
Grilled cheese fans need to try this one at Corner Door. Pecorino is probably one of my favorite cheeses and it’s perfect peaches and wasabi arugula.
My favorite dish of the night was the pappardelle. I wouldn’t have expected it but Chef Kyle makes a good gravy. That sauce is my favorite kind of tomato sauce- fresh and lightly acidic. The noodles were really good too with a nice chew. I wondered how soon I could come back for this dish.
One of Corner Door signatures is Brussels Sprouts. These are simply roasted then fried and topped with feta cheese.
Beau’s cocktails even when they’re boozy complement the food. They never overpower and I found the Private Island an ideal drink with some of the heartier fare. It makes sense when you think of dark rums and the thick stews from the islands.
Private Island – demerara rum, Jamaican rum, dry vermouth, lime cordial, Peychaud’s bitters
If you’re still hungry, there’s always steak. Try dipping the flat iron steak into the corn puree first then into the powdered pastrami spices for an extra kick.
A good summery whiskey drink is sometimes hard to find. Midnight Showing despite its after-5PM name would be great as a brunch cocktail as well (or your breakfast “juice”).
Midnight Showing – rye, Cointreau, blackberries, vanilla cordial, blackberries, lemon, 5 spice, walnut bitters
Although we had burrata earlier, the bruleed burrata is a completely different dish and works really well as dessert. I hadn’t thought of it as a sweet dish before but I suppose it’s like how you occasionally see ricotta in desserts. I’d even take this a step further and top it on some pancakes or waffles for brunch.
My favorite dessert was the Paloma, Chef Kyle’s take on the cocktail. Here the grapefruit is presented as powder, sorbet and in its natural fruit state. A little bit of chocolate rounds out the dish.
I was looking forward to the red velvet twinkies but they ran out. That’s just fine because it gives me another excuse to swing by for more pasta, dessert and drinks!