Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunday Lunch at Waterloo & City

Waterloo and City, the British Gastropub which recently opened in Culver City is now home to a Sunday Lunch, a more savory version of Sunday brunch, and a development I heartily approve of. I was invited to check out the new offerings and dutifully ate my way through much of the menu. Chef Brendan Collins (pictured below), a partner in the restaurant, was there to talk about his philosophy. Collins is a believer in nose to tail dining, "You should respect the animal and every part of the animal should be used. A chef should be able to make every part of the animal taste good," he said.

We began the meal with a groaning board of pastries, including croissants, scones, chocolate chip cookies and fixings including Nutella. The scones were not too dense and the croissants were airy and flaky.

One of the main attractions of Waterloo & City, whether at lunch or dinner, is their house made charcuterie. The options include smoked salmon and potato terrine, chicken liver and foie gras mousse, beef drippings in a jar, foie gras in a jar, duck country pate with orange marmalade and a venison terrine, among others. We arranged for a sampler platter, pictured below. Collins mentioned that demand for these dishes had far exceeded expectations and they had been selling out of many of their charcuterie dishes daily.

My favorite of the terrines and pates was the smoked salmon terrine with fried egg and gribiche. The salmon was alternated with potato in a beautiful pink and white striped presentation. The fried egg sat on top. This dish is an ideal way to begin a Sunday Lunch as the salmon calls to mind the traditional lox of brunch but the dish is raised to a new level of refinement. The photo below does not do the dish justice.

Another favorite was the foir gras in a jar, simply decadent and a great way to spread the love (and salt and fat) around a piece of toast. Creamy in texture and full of flavor, this is foie done right. A jar is enough for several lunchers to share and could work as an appetizer, side dish or dessert.

As we are in the peak of summer, corn soup is a great way to take advantage of the bounty. The corn soup was sweet. The portion is large rather than dainty, so be prepared.

When I saw Corned Beef Hash, Eggs, Bernaise on the menu, I knew I had to order this dish. It arrived to the table in a skillet with the egg and sauce on top of the hash and some small toasts fanned out on top. Surprisingly this was not my favorite element of the meal, so my quest for great corned beef hash in Los Angeles continues. The beef is prepared in house, not like the canned varieties you see all over town. In fact, over 95% of the components of the dishes are prepared in house, whether its the pastries, the charcuterie or the corned beef.

A fellow fresser ordered the Roast Beef, which came with Yorkshire Pudding and some veggies. This is the traditional British Sunday Lunch and was well executed. The roast beef had real beefy flavor and the puddings were fluffy; this is a real meal, not some wimpy pancakes and is only available on the Sunday Lunch menu, not the dinner menu.

When it comes to desserts, I'd usually rather have a nice piece of cheese, but I make an exception for the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Milk Ice Cream and Salted Caramel. This is an appropriately rich way to end your lunch, with a stick to your ribs dessert. The toffee pudding was gooey, sweet, salty and delicious.

Overall Collins & crew have created a comfortable environment with ambitious but accessible cuisine, where the vibe is comfy and genial. The starters are $9 - $11, the egg dishes are $10 - $16 and the mains are $15 - $19. Desserts are $6 and are large enough to share, even if you want to keep them all to yourself.

Waterloo & City: 12517 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles/Culver City. Phone: (310) 391-4222‎. Website:‎

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a pretty good lunch. I'm eyeing that pastry board and corned beef hash!