Culver City: Dinner and Drinks at Margot
I met up with a friend in Culver City one as it’s between the both of us. We usually meet up in Culver City but the challenge has been finding new and interesting places to go to. For this night, I remembered I had Margot on the list.
I’m really glad I made reservations as it was crazy busy and every seat was taken– this was on a Wednesday. The bar was rocking and the seafood counter was also filled up. And that patio! I wondered if there was enough support for all the folks outside as Margot is on the top floor of the Platform shopping complex. Even the private room was taken up by a large party.
It’s really nice to be part of the busy scene. The servers were all very nice and professional. And the best part were the drinks and food.
We started with a couple of drinks (of course). I had the “scotchy but not scotch” drink — it reminded me a bit of a Penicillin or perhaps a cold toddy. My friend had the Olive Oil Martini. We enjoyed both.
Spring Forward – Bruichladdich single malt whisky, Dolin Genepy, apricot eau di vie, honey, lemon twist
Olive Oil Martini – olive oil-infused Botanist gin, vermouth, fennel mignonette
The most popular item everyone seemed to order around us was the tomato bread (pan con tomate). This was luscious. I imagine it’s even better now that summer is upon us and we have full access to even better tomatoes.
My friend seemed into the idea of ordering one of the crudos. I was originally eyeing the yellowtail or the kampachi but we went “exotic” and tried the scallops. These were flecked with puffed rice which if you didn’t realize could seem like lentils or beans or… ? Well, I thought it was an interesting choice with the scallops and cucumber. Almost like a deconstructed seafood rice cake!
As the sun set, the room darkened into a cheerful party that no one knew one another at. We heard the constant hum of a busy restaurant and yet it was very zen for me. I like busy restaurants. And listening to the rhythm of the place. I enjoyed the moment with the Blackbird drink- a little whiskey never hurt anyone.
Blackbird – Wild Turkey bourbon, Sambuca, Martini & Rossi Rubino amaro, blackberry, Meyer lemon
Possibly our favorite dish of the night was the brined and roasted cauliflower with salsa verde. I could have eaten the entire plate myself. Roasted cauliflower is so trendy right now but I appreciated this one — not just because I didn’t have to “carve” it up myself (really don’t get why restaurants are pretending a head of cauliflower counts as a main entree for vegetarians) but it was actually very delicious.
We thought about getting the whole fish but it was just the two of us and I didn’t want to deal with too many bones. We compromised on the amberjack collar. Normally I don’t get this throwaway cut but it was quite meaty and delightful. I really liked the red pepper escalivada (relish), it was a great counterpoint to the unctuous fish.
I took three semesters of Italian in college. The results is I sometimes speak Italian in a very Italian American way. Just kidding, I don’t do that on purpose. While you don’t need to pronounce maltagliati for the server to understand you (pointing at menus is still helpful!), I am glad we were able to order it. The pasta were small sheets (must more manageable than some of those handkerchief pastas) with guanciale and peas. We really liked the Parmasean sauce with oyster mushrooms. It tied everything together.
And then we were off to our nightcap at Simonette. This was a nice two-fer night.
8820 Washington Blvd., Ste 301, Culver City, CA 90232 — (310) 643-5853
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