Waterloo & City

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It was high time I made it out to this charmingly named British gastro-pub in Culver City seeing as my little brother works in the kitchen. If you think this is going to be a biased good review you should know he gets no breaks from me.  Even though he did send out tons of free food. Starting with a plate of house-cured meats all of which were delightful.  The show stopper was the head cheese (which I wouldn’t have ordered on my own) but ended up being perfect, unctuous, porky, fatty goodness. Everything else was also excellent except something called beef drippings which was just a very salty beef gelatin.  Not that it doesn’t sound up my alley but it was just too salty for me.

For starters we went with the hamachi crudo with poached rhubarb, jicama, and tamarind dressing and the fried octopus with shishito peppers, potatoes, and squid ink aioli.  I usually think dishes that sound like this are trying to do too much. But in both cases this time it really worked.  the octopus was tender and smoky and and the peppers added just the right amount of heat to cut the aoili.  The hamachi was ocean fresh and the jicama added just the right crunch. Along with the head cheese these two were my favorites of the night.

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And then I don’t know what happened.  There was a parade of food and sparking wine. I can’t even remember everything we ate. There was a springy pasta dish with excellent morels and another that was redolent of smoky bacon, there was sticky toffee pudding, and popcorn ice cream (really cool because it tasted just like popcorn and also good!).  Even though I swore that night that I would never eat again, I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other offerings especially an Indian butter chicken pizza and of course some beef wellington.

As an aside, I think I should also note that this restaurant has the coolest wallpaper I’ve ever seen.  I really want it for our powder-room for that day (far far in the future) when we remodel. What is it you ask? Oh just a classic looking toile by Timorous Beasties depicting London muggings and the like.

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