Wilson's -- culver city
Stopped into Wilson's for an impromptu lunch while walking daughter home from art class. Wilson's is located in the new MODAA Building on Washington Blvd at Sherbourne/Cattaraugus, coupla blocks east of the Helms Bakery Building.
Wilson's is making a serious entry into the Culver City dining scene. Lunch portions were large and fairly expensive, but the food was excellent, the staff friendly and efficient, and I am looking forward to the establishment acquiring a liquor license and starting dinner service.
Having experienced Ford's a few times, and having read about Tender Greens, I've concluded that the theme du jour for restaurants in this area, regardless of cuisine, seems to be: you've just dropped into someone's lovely home and they happen to be whipping up something great to eat, so why don't you stay for awhile?. Wilson's really lives up to this concept. We sat at the bar with a nice view of the kitchen, and were very entertained by the ongoing food preparation taking place in front of our eyes. As for the staff, the attitude seems to be, everyone is hanging out, but in the meantime, they'll serve you a fantastic selection of bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, they'll treat you to an extra chocolate covered strawberry that didn't make it onto a layer chantilly cake, and they'll ask you to snack and comment on the caesar salad with white anchovy and pure parmesan crisp while you sip your ice tea. We could have hung out there all day noshing.
My daughter (who is 5 and from the Notorious Family of Finick) loved the tomato soup which came with little grilled cheese sandwiches swimming in it. Additional grilled cheese sandwiches were served on the side. I don't know if the extras were standard with the lunch or something they decided to offer us on this lazy Saturday.
The lunch menu is short. A few selections per category: Open Face, Lunch Plates, Salads, Pasta. I ordered the open face chuck burger, which came medium rare as I had requested. Thought it was better than the Ford's pub burger -- served on grilled bread with cheddar (Montgomery? Wensleydale?) and an amazing short rib chili poured on top, which could have easily starred as its own dish. My partner had the roasted chicken sandwich with avocado and brie, also open faced. Portions were quite large. Daughter was treated to a white/chocolate dipped strawberry in chantilly cream. Yum yum. Burger was $16, chicken sandwich $13, tomato soup $10.
They are expecting a wine and beer license within a few weeks, and per our server Brendan (whom you may recognize from Chloe), will be offering a small, but eclectic wine by the glass program.
The place had a great feel. The kitchen was very well staffed and appeared to be handling a 20-person party celebrating a UCLA graduation quite well.
We were drooling over one of their appetizers that looked like smoked salmon, but was actually golden trout from Idaho.
The menu also had green lip mussels (with puy lentils and bilbao chorizo!), a whitefish salad, and possibly another fish entree.
Their caesar featured white anchovy which seemed intriguing, but I think that's about it for fish.