Ford’s Filling Station

Restaurant: Ford’s Filling Station

Location:  9531 Culver Blvd, Culver City. 310-202-1470

Date: April 28, 2011

Cuisine: Gastropub

Rating: Always great for lunch.


It was a gorgeous day (again) in LA, so I headed out to find another good lunch spot with outside dining. We ended up in Culver City with its rather large selection of good lunch spots and specifically at Ford’s Filling Station, which is run by Benjamin Ford, son of Han Solo. The place has been around awhile but before this he had another place in Beverly Hills which was very good — but I can’t remember the name.

Notice the “pig country” sign. They offer on the menu a 8 person minimum whole pig dinner with a whole roast pig!

Outside, there are two different patios. In general, Culver city has a lot of outside dining which is nice. For some mysterious reason LA restaurants often lack al fresco. This makes no sense given our weather.

The menu.

“Bacon wrapped dates, stuffed with cheese.” Um yum! I love this dish, and I’ve had it at many places (like recently at Upstairs 2). These were as good as any, showing off the sweet and salty.

“Shrimp Curry, jasmine rice, marash pepper and applewood smoked bacon.” Also a really great dish. Very similar to the one I had at Gladstones. The bacon made it even better.

Sliced serrano peppers in has you want to spice it up.

Pulled Pork Panini, melted gouda and spicy pepper relish.” The beans were awesome too, with a nice smoky porcine flavor.

A close up of the sandwich itself. I had expected something like a North Carolina pulled pork sandwich. That’s kinda tangy. This was more the succulent roast pork with cheese. Yum.

The dessert menu.

“Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich, chocolate chip cookie and mint chocolate-chip ice cream.” The ice cream was great, very similar to the mint ice cream I had at Sweet Rose Creamery, tasting as it did of fresh mint leaves. The fudge was good too. The cookie needed more butter, it was a little dry. Not bad, and the overall dessert was still very good, but with a really awesome cookie, it could have been… really awesome.

Inside, the stripped down old-school culver city building provides a nice deconstructed interior. I’ve never been here at night but I bet it’s a good watering hole.

Another good Culver City place is Fraiche, here for review.

Here Piggy – Botin Madrid

Restaurant: Botin

Location: Madrid Spain

Date: July 1, 2010

Cuisine: Classic Spanish


At the end of our month in Spain we wanted to hit up a totally traditional Spanish place for our final dinner. This place in Madrid claims to be the “oldest restaurant in the world.” True or not, it does serve a narrow but good menu of traditional Spanish fare. And this means pig — lots of pig!

The storefront in the heart of old Madrid.

The speciality of the house is roast baby piglet. They told me they go through 50-60 complete pigs a night! You can see them lined up in their terrines waiting for the ovens.

Oink oink!

Their fiery doom.

“The 2007 Les Terrasses is the same blend as the Camins cuvee but entirely sourced from old vines. It spent 12 months in 20% new French oak. Aromas of mineral, Asian spices, espresso, black cherry, and black raspberry lead to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, smooth-textured wine. Savory, moderately structured, and approachable, it may evolve for 1-2 years but can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8 years.” Parker gives it a 92.

The building sure looks old.

This traditional Gazpacho was very good — and included the tray of “additives” (cucumber, tomato, crouton). Even I — a consummate raw tomato hater — loved it.

Pimientos Rojos with Boquerones in Vinegar. I love this dish. Anchovies have a bad rap here in the states, but these fresh Spanish ones are amazing. I love the vinegary tang, and the contrast with the marinated peppers. Yum!

Here is the pig in the foreground — with potatoes — the Spanish love meat and potatoes. In the background is roasted lamb shoulder.

The lamb plated. Smokey, rich and tender. The piggy was someone else’s, after looking at the little pigs I just couldn’t bring myself to chow down on one. I didn’t see the lamb.  Bah!

Perfect flan for dessert. Rich custardy goodness and sweet dark carmel.

The funky old school Spanish decor.

the register certainly looks antique.

The cellar.

By the entrance, where they keep the olives they put on the table, is this sad little photo of babe.