I had a really great time at this restaurant, the first time we went. I had heard some good things about the drink menu from my boyfriend FutureGreg (FG) but had no expectations of the food.
Miner Incident- Bourbon, Apricot, Lemon, Honey, Thai Chilies $12
The first drink I tried was great and called the ‘Miner Incident’. It was beautifully balanced with a definite kick from the chilies. Slightly sweet although the bourbon came through nicely and the use of apricot was a welcomed change from other fruit options usually on offer.
FG had a Mezcallin to start, which he described as a ‘Mexican Penicillin’, which is pretty much what it is!
The food menu looked very appealing and so we began with some tasty bites. We ordered the Bread and Whistles, which FG enjoyed a lot but sadly I didn’t find it to be anything special. I have had honey and ricotta style appetizers before and loved them, this ricotta brand wasn’t my favorite. The bread was great though.
Next we had the brussel sprouts (something I usually hate, but when done right are truly delicious!) they were perfectly sweet with caramelized onion, and a burnt honey’d taste. The texture was great too, soft center with crunchy outer leaves. The feta on top was a nice finishing touch. This is an excellent appetizer and I highly recommend it.
By the time our appetizers were done we needed another round of drinks. I went for the Swizzle and FG had ‘The Left Hand.’ The Left Hand was one of the specials on the board for the night, it was basically a Boulevardier with Rye, which he enjoyed although I found a little on the bitter side. The Queens Park Swizzle was good though, sweet and refreshing. I couldn’t quite taste the strawberry in the bitters, but the overall drink was nice.
Queen’s Park Swizzle- Rum, Lime, Mint, House Strawberry Bitters $12
Left Hand- Rye Whisky, Sweet Vermouth, Campari $12
For our Entree we ordered the Salmon and the Asparagus with Burrata. The Salmon dish was nothing short of excellent. I mean, really, this was a fantastic piece of fish. The dill sauce was creamy but not heavy or too rich. The fish itself was full of flavor with a nice moist center and almost crispy edges. The frisee was fresh and paired nicely with everything else on the plate.
Pan Roasted Wild Salmon (original)- Green olives, orange, Frisee $24
The asparagus was just ok, it was cold asparagus with a warm cooked egg on top and I didn’t like the cold and warm contrast that much. The flavors paired nicely but the temperature differences just didn’t work for me.
Grilled Asparagus & Burrata- Fried egg, Cilantro pistachio pesto $14
For dessert we had a very tasty piece of horchata soaked almond cake. Oh my goodness was this delicious. It was moist, with the taste of almond essence or marzipan. The salted caramel ice cream occasionally had large salt crystals in it, but the two worked perfectly together. It was a decent sized slice also, great end to the evening.
Horchata soaked almond cake- “dulce de leche”, salted caramel ice cream $9
The bar itself is really attractive, I love Edison style lighting and it worked nicely in this setting. There was a big bar in the center and the place had a casual, warm feel to it. The staff were friendly, the food was great and drinks list was varied.
This place was going to get full marks for food, sadly I have to be honest (which is why I have taken a while to put this review up, because I don’t like to give negative remarks if I can help it.) The thing is, FG and I returned a few weeks ago because I was utterly craving the salmon (it was that good). When we arrived I told the bartender (same one from previous visit) that i’d been daydreaming of it all day, he remarked on how it was one of his favorites also. We didn’t even look at a menu, just ordered the Salmon dish and the brussels again. The Brussel Sprouts were just as great as the first visit, however when the Salmon came out it looked completely different.
At first I thought my memory was totally off, but it was in a corn like broth and wasn’t the same grilled piece of fish I had expected. I commented on it and the bartender informed me that they had changed the recipe and now it had a red pepper risotto (I hate red pepper I should add) and they’d changed the cooking method. It was more than a little upsetting for me, mainly because it really was a totally different dish and I had truly been craving the other version all day. Now I must say, it wasn’t a bad dish. It was still good actually, but nowhere near what it had been previous. I totally understand and welcome seasonal menus, I have no issue in changes daily, but the only part that upset me was the fact that the bartender didn’t mention the menu had changed when we ordered it. When I pointed this out to him, he said “Yeah I guess it did change, I kind of preferred it before too” WELL WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO EARLIER!? haha…Oh well. It is, what it is and the place still gets a good mark overall because of everything else.
I am giving this place 4 out of 5 Platters because the first visit was so successful. Word to the wise, be sure to check ingredients when you go to places that change their menu constantly. You may end up falling in love with a dish that is no longer available a week later! 😦
I’m giving 3.5 out of 5 Coupes for the drinks. The options were decent and varied, the staff sweet and I really did like my apricot drink a lot. Nothing totally blew me away, but the drinks were certainly balanced and enjoyable for a night out.
If you are in the Culver City area any time soon, I will say The Corner Door is certainly worth a visit. I am sure FG and I will be back…we’ll try something different to become the new favorite! Oh, how I will always have fond memories of that first salmon though. 🙂