Restaurant: Waterloo & City [1, 2]
Location: 12517 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066 310.391.4222
Date: May 21, 2011
Rating: Really tasty!
There has been real growth in the gastropub catagory here in LA during the last few years. Part of this is probably the recession which has encouraged somewhat lower key dining, but there’s probably more to it. When I first moved to LA (early 90s) things were dominated by flashy higher end “event” restaurants each with its own blend of novel fusion cuisine. Good examples of this would by Chaya, Matsuhisa, Chinois, Spago, Abiquiu. The next wave after that were the farmer’s market driven joints like Josie or Gjelina. In any case, on to Waterloo & City.
A view of the bar. This is a pretty big place.
The drink menu. I didn’t feel like wine, so we tried out some of these.
“Oh Rickey! Russian Standard Vodka, Fresh Raspberries, Lime, Soda.” This tasted like fresh raspberries. It was sweet, but not too sweet. Good.
“Tamarindo Fever. Tequila Blaco, Tamarind, Grand Marnier, Habanero, Lemon, Lime Salt.” I’ve been trying a lot of these “hot drinks” lately. I like them. This was good, sour and hot at the same time. But it was really hot. Not enough to bother me, but enough that I worried about heartburn if I drink say, 2 or 3 of them.
This special cocktail had vanilla Stoli, fresh lemon juice and some other stuff. It tasted like a lemon candy.
Waterloo has a lot of charcuterie. This was a small plate on the left, on the right are “Shrimp & Zucchini Blossom Fritters, piri piri hot sauce.” A tempura fried variant on the Italian favorite (in that case usually stuffed with ricotta).
“Yellowtail crudo, shallot & ginger dressing, spring salad.” This was very tasty. Besides the fish there was a bit of burrata and tomato in here too. But the fish was very succulent, and the ginger based dressing delicious. With all this stuff, including the radish, there was a very complex but harmonious flavor/texture thing going on, not unlike a dish at Red Medicine.
“Steamed mussels, red thai curry, lime ginger, ciabatta.” A very nice adaption of the french classic.
“Hand-cut pasta, English Peas, Italian Sausage, Parmesan.” Even though it was two nights in a row I couldn’t resist this dish, as it is close to one of my favorite pasta types. Yesterday’s version was a little better, but this was very nice. The sausage was flavorful and after chopping it up a bit so some could get in each bit made an excellent foil to the buttery sauce.
“Wild mushroom pizza, smoked mozzerella, truffle oil.” If I didn’t know better I’d have said that this was a bacon and mushroom pizza! It was really good. First of all, the crust was thin and chewy, but not over burned. The cheese was gooey, and the smoked mushrooms really really meaty. Good stuff, I should have tried their Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza, as they stole my idea!
“Beef Wellington.” Sweet and sour onions on top of a puff pastry, sitting on bacon wrapped asparagus.
Inside is the medium steak (could have been a bit rarer), fois gras, and maybe some more bacon/pancetta. Certainly rich…
“Crispy confit pork shank, spring potato, bacon salad, peas & favas.”
Look at this sucker! Confit (twice cooked in it’s own fat)! Then deep fried! It was just a ball of piggy goodness.
The dessert menu.
Special. Glazed beneits with creme anglais and raspberry jam. These were REALLY sweet, coated in a bit of carmel I think too (you can see it pooling beneath). Very much to my taste, but not for those that don’t have a MASSIVE sweet-tooth.
“Sticky Toffe Pudding, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Ice Cream.” Also excellent, with a not so dissimilar flavor profile. Both were intensely sweet. The ice cream helped cut it.
Overall I was very impressed with Waterloo & City. Things were extremely tasty, and there was a lot of stuff on the menu that I wanted to try but couldn’t. I’ll have to head back. It’s, however, not a light cuisine. Which is perhaps why it suited my taste.
For a second review of W & C, click here.
For another recent gastropub visit, check out Ford’s Filling Station.