If I told you that a celebrated chef known for cooking French food had gone to work in a small French cafe in Culver City you might either be surprised or respond that you had already heard about Walter Manzke consulting at Le Saint Amour. That the chef I am referring to was the executive chef at a restaurant in Corsica when it earned a Michelin star should intrigue you. The acclaimed chef is Sébastien Archambault, who garnered acclaim at RH at the Andaz for his cooking of the cuisine of southwestern France, and his new home is L'Epicerie, the cafe, market and wine shop owned by Thierry Perez.
The Farmer's Market Vegetables are an array of vegetables pickled in champagne vinegar and served in a jar. Yes, those jars are everywhere right now. Carrots were a highlight, nice and crunchy with the acidic kiss of the vinegar.
Chicken Wings Confit is a fun idea but it just didn't work in that the bones in the tiny pieces did not make it easy to eat.
Tortilla de Patatas tastes good but is perhaps too refined. Tortilla is a rustic dish and this version appears overly dainty. I'd still recommend it, but it doesn't remind one of a serving of tortilla in a tapas bar in Spain.
At the bar, there is also a tapas menu. The Beef Tongue ($5) was quite good, though not as good as the version at FIG. The tongue is served sliced. The Duck Foie Gras Terrine ($8) is three country bread crostini with plum chutney and duck foie gras on top of each. These are rich and a tasty way to begin a meal or to accompany a glass of wine. The Pere Anselme, Vin de Pays d'Oc Syrah from the Languedoc ($3) is a pleasant accompaniment to these dishes.
|Duck Foie Gras Terrine|
My visit was hosted.
L'Epicerie: 9900 Culver Boulevard, Culver City. Phone: (310) 815-1600 Website: http://www.lepiceriemarket.com/