Culver City: Dinner and Drinks at East Borough
East Borough opened in Culver City a few months ago. I was excited by the idea of more Asian food on the “Westside” (though we all know Culver really isn’t thaaaaat west. Still, it’s a welcome addition since there’s not a lot of Vietnamese in Downtown Culver City. Plus they got booze!
We got there just in time for happy hour so we ordered a few things to start. My friend had the brilliantly red Rooster’s Comb as her first cocktail. I liked the hibiscus garnish which looked a little bit like a goldfish swimming in her drink.
Rooster’s Comb -rye, Aperol, hibiscus, lemon, rhubarb bitters
The Imperial rolls were pretty good with lovely fresh lettuce to wrap around the rolls.
Our favorite dish was the octopus. We couldn’t stop eating the whole baby octopus. Heads and tentacles, oh my! The mint wasn’t just a good garnish but added a nice aromatic to the dish.
I usually get banh xeo whenever I see it. I’m used to seeing it with shrimp but when I saw this had Dungeness crab, I was all about this dish. The crepe was fried well and the crab retained a lot of flavor and stayed moist. I hate when fried foods get over fried but East Borough did a great job cooking this dish.
For my first drink, I chose the Lost in Translation which features my current fave Japanese whisky, Nikka. And this one is Nikka Coffey Grain, a lovely whisky. I suspect the ginger liqueur is King’s ginger liqueur, a versatile liqueur I use quite a bit at home.
Lost in Translation – Nikka Coffey Grain Japanese whisky, ginger liqueur, fernet, brown sugar
What do you get when combine the idea of a French dip with a banh mi? You get East Borough’s Pho Dip. You take your sandwich and dip it into the pho broth. I’m thinking this should be a thing everywhere.
We enjoyed the pork belly bowl though I wished it had more rice. How are we supposed to mix all that lovely egg yolk with the skimpy portion of rice?
For the hell of it, we also got the regular banh mi. In general I liked it but thought the marinated veggies should have been sliced into thinner pieces. This left the impression I was eating a pickles sandwich.
The drinks were pretty good in general. We shared the Golden Axe and Red River Delta. I like anything with ginger. And Campari. They were both very refreshing but try the Golden Axe if you’re trying to beat the heat. And the Red River Delta to stimulate appetite — or digest such a big meal.
The Golden Axe – rye, dry vermouth, ginger, lemon, mint
Red River Delta – Gin, Dolin blanc, Campari, rhubarb bitters