Over Christmas break, I couldn't resist taking an escape to LA to indulge in my favorite spa then end the night at the new Muddy Leek restaurant in Culver City.
Upon walking in, I spotted two great signs: 1.) literally, a sandwich board that read "Complimentary Gluten-Free Beignets" and 2.) Caroline on Crack being seated at the bar. I knew I was in for a double treat!
The space has an eco-chic architectural modern vibe with white marble-top tables & citrus colors, the indie music is on point, the cocktails are overflowing with mixology, and the food menu makes you want to order the whole thing – which the hand model & I practically did.
No need to feel guilty about it though, thanks to Chef Whitney Flood's local, seasonal, organic, made-from-scratch menu.
- most unique, thick-cut, fatty yet crisp flour fry, smokiness pairs well with tomato, "Chicken Fried" Bacon with Tomato Chutney and wrapped in a gotta-love-the-healthy-sentiment Bib Lettuce Leaf $7
- simple, peppery 'n sweet, House Salad with Wild Arugula, Fennel, Pink Lady Apple & light Cider Vinaigrette $10
- an homage to New England & Morocco, creative play on crab 'n hot sauce, light 'n spicy, but could've used more crackers, Crab & Harissa with Frisee and Poppadoms $10
- love the rustic shape but too bland for my taste, needs either salt or acid, ask for extra sage, Winter Squash Gnocchi with Fried Sage Leaves & Brown Butter Sauce $10
- the hand model's favorite, like a sweet 'n savory breakfast dish, meaty Chantarelle Mushrooms & Eggs with Pan Roasted Kabocha Squash & please-jar-me-up-some Pomegranate Molasses $12
- my fork's down favorite, i didn't want to share, screams cream, Mushroom Spinach & thick-artichoke-like Leek Tart with homemade rustic flakey crust & Black Truffle Vinaigrette Salad $21
- the tart's skinny sister, great sear on the fish but a little dry, Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut with Melted Leeks, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Microgreens & crunchy nutty Risotto Cakes $28
- super indulgent, cream melts instantly against molten lava flow and brownie corner chewy crust, Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream $7
- lightly sugar dusted, outside crunch, soft & gooey inside, Gluten-Free Beignets with Crab Apples (complimentary)
- smooth 'n rosey, Blind Lemon Jefferson with Rye, Lemon & Bitters $12
- ginger hits you like an angry Italian mother's slap in the face, Italian Mule with Vodka, Amaro Melette, Lime, Ginger & Soda $12
Overall, I was super impressed. This new restaurant really has everything going for it – modern space, vibing music, excellent location steps from Father's Office and Lukshon, hand-crafted cocktails, happy hour, and a food menu to fight over.
Bite Advice: definitely order the Italian Mule Cocktail, Chicken Fried Bacon, Crab & Harissa, Chantarelles & Eggs, and of course the Mushroom Spinach Leek Tart.
When winter blows over, check out the large outdoor patio to enjoy a sunny Sunday morning Brunch.
Bon Appetit indeed, Bon Melange Catering!
8631 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. 310-838-2281.