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Bucato opening In Culver City

Baron Nov 5, 2012 07:25 AM

Bucato opening In Culver City
Chef Evan Funke, formerly of Rustic Canyon, that has a way with handmade pasta, is opening his own pasta-focused joint, Bucato, and taking over the former Beacon restaurant space at the Helms Bakery Complex in Culver City. If all goes as planned, he expects it to open in mid-December.

  1. PeterCC Oct 7, 2013 05:42 PM

    Jonathan Gold speaks: http://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-100...

    1. Baron Sep 6, 2013 05:50 PM

      I see that Bucato is open for brunch on Saturday. Anyone know what's on the menu?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Baron
        PeterCC Oct 5, 2013 10:12 AM

        Bump. Anyone been to brunch? Dishes? Cost? Heard they have an octopus hash.

        Also I heard they've bumped up portions a little for dinner. True? Is the price-to-portion ratio better?

        1. re: PeterCC
          aching Oct 13, 2013 04:53 PM

          I went for brunch this morning. We had Green Eggs and Ham (eggs, prosciutto, and pesto on English muffins) and Crispy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms (also served with an egg). They were $14 and $18 respectively. Also on the menu were focaccia, doughnuts, porchetta scramble, octopus hash, and a few other things. I thought the food was very good, especially the polenta dish, but the portions were small for the price (and I don't have a huge appetite). The restaurant was lovely and the service was attentive. I will definitely return, but next time we might have to order more!

          1. re: PeterCC
            felicia d. Oct 28, 2013 01:13 PM

            i loved the octopus hash...octopus, potatoes, kale, some kind of a tomato sauce with a perfect egg on top.

            also, the banana-nutella donuts and the foccacia were both amazing...like everyone was making noises after tasting them amazing.

        2. mstinawu Aug 16, 2013 10:59 AM

          My boyfriend and I went for dinner last weekend. We sat outside--it was quite nice. I love their chair, table, benches. Looks like they sourced from their neighbor, HD Buttercup!

          Anyway, in terms of food, all the dishes ranged from mediocre to 'good' minus the uni gnochetti which was absolutely divine.


          Focaccia: Tasted like undercooked pizza dough. Not enough texture, boring tomato paste like topping which reminded me too much of a pizza.

          Crab bruchetta: This wasn't the name, but that's basically what it was. The crab was fresh and there was a generous portion. It was decent, but nothing special.

          Tortellini: Drenched in oil--the tortellini's themselves were OK, I've had much better elsewhere. It was pretty devoid of flavor, I don't even remember what was supposed to be in it.

          Tagitelle: The noodles were light and almost reminded me of very thin pad thai noodles. I like a nicer bite to my tagitelle, but this did not hit it. I *think* there were tuna chunks in it--somewhat reminiscent of tuna noodle casserole. I'm not sure that I liked that.

          Uni gnochetti: Absolutely delicious in every respect. Loved the uni, the sauce, the gnochetti were soft, yet chewy and yummy.

          Porchetta truck: It was good. Nothing revolutionary. That's pretty much it. I wouldn't go back for it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mstinawu
            chowseeker1999 Aug 16, 2013 01:58 PM

            thanx for the info. :> darn, sounds like a disappointment. how much was the damage for 2?

            and how were the portions? (i guess 6 dishes for 2 people might be enough to feel full?)

            1. re: chowseeker1999
              mstinawu Oct 25, 2013 09:07 AM

              For everything I listed + two glasses of wine + tax + tip, it came out to about $140.

          2. n
            New Trial Aug 4, 2013 12:13 PM

            I would echo the comments that portions tend to be small for the price but the flavors are great. The spicy pork meatballs (while not particularly spicy in my view) were even better than the ones at Sotto and the pastas were at least as good. My porchetta had more crispy bits than some of the others have experienced and was larger than a couple of bites though still a tad small for the price. Can't wait for them to open for lunch so the sandwich can return! Desserts followed suit by being small but packed with flavor. The focaccia was rather large, though, and worth getting. The batard also looked sizable albeit less interesting; there was also a third bread on the menu but I did not see it at any other table so am not sure what it is like (the server described it as pancake-like). Service was excellent.

            1 Reply
            1. re: New Trial
              Baron Aug 4, 2013 12:19 PM

              I heard they would open for lunch in about 6 weeks.

            2. f
              foodiemahoodie Aug 2, 2013 09:59 PM

              Even Funke is the real deal. Really looking forward to this.

              I hear it's a bit pricey.


              16 Replies
              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                Baron Aug 2, 2013 11:08 PM

                Four of us had a great time. $120 before the tip. Service was exceptional. But we are light eaters. Figure about 50 to 60 per person if you're hungry and a big eater. The portions are small, not expensive so you get lots of great tastes.

                1. re: Baron
                  PeterCC Aug 3, 2013 12:26 AM

                  Just got back. Portions are very small. Had the pork cheeks tonight and it was two small pieces for $20.

                  Service was impeccable.

                  1. re: PeterCC
                    ilysla Aug 3, 2013 01:47 AM

                    And the pork cheeks tasted...?

                    Can't say I'm happy to hear about the tiny portion size.... =(

                    1. re: ilysla
                      PeterCC Aug 3, 2013 09:10 AM

                      It was good. Reminded me more of pork belly, with a thick fatty layer that was crispy on the outside and a meaty layer that was a bit carnitas like.

                      1. re: PeterCC
                        ilysla Aug 3, 2013 09:31 AM

                        ::sigh:: That sounds lovely. Was the taste sufficient that you were satiated even w/ the small portion size, and would you go back? =)

                        And where is Ciao Bob w/ a report??? ;)

                        1. re: ilysla
                          Ciao Bob Aug 3, 2013 09:52 AM

                          We tried quite a bit, most was real good. Focaccia was excellent. Sardines also quite nice.
                          Can't say I was overwhelmed. The porchetta was disappointing - no crunchy parts in ours.

                          1. re: Ciao Bob
                            chowseeker1999 Aug 3, 2013 09:56 AM

                            hi ciao bob,

                            you're a healthy eater (at least a person who regularly eats full courses at Shunji, right? :>). so how much was the bill for a hungry bob? :> thanx!

                            1. re: chowseeker1999
                              Ciao Bob Aug 6, 2013 01:31 PM

                              I ate plenty, and it was not very expensive at all. Still, I cannot separate the food from the beverages from the number of us eating, and round it out to anything that will make sense for you - we brought and we bought our own.

                          2. re: ilysla
                            PeterCC Aug 3, 2013 10:14 AM

                            In addition to the small portions, prices actually went up for many dishes from the prices on the pic chrishei linked to. The foccacia was $5 last night instead of $4. The pastas were $16, the porcetta was $18.

                            We (chrishei and I) sat with Bob and his friends, who ordered the porchetta, so he can tell you about it himself*, but I'll just say, unlike from the truck, it didn't look quite up to snuff, so we ordered the pork cheeks instead. We also had the foccacia, the uni, the tortelloni, and meatballs. We had ordered the tagliatelle and the sardines but they were both out for the evening (we were ordering at nearly 11 PM). We also tried the squash blossoms that Bob's friends ordered.

                            I would say everything that we had was expertly executed and delicious but didn't wow me. Surprisingly probably the best thing I had last night was the squash blossoms. I'm judging solely on its own merits, since I am more carnivore than vegetarian, so I'm predisposed to like the pork cheeks and meatballs, but the squash blossoms impressed me the most in their simplicity and taste.

                            I would go back, and give them another try. I'm hoping they do what Paiche did and increase their portion sizes.

                            *I must not have refreshed my page before posting this, but I see he already did.

                            1. re: PeterCC
                              chrishei Aug 3, 2013 10:25 AM

                              The foccacia and tortelloni were the winners of the night for me.

                              For now, we were told that the menu is changing nightly, based on availability at the farmer's market, etc.

                              But yeah, Bob's porchetta looked...sad. The pork cheeks were actually better representatives of what we were looking for in the porchetta, but before I could form a solid opinion of the dish we were finished already - the portions were TINY.

                              Still, like Bob said, it does have promise, and we did go during opening week, so it's a bit unfair to judge too harshly. I will definitely try it again as well. Service was very good by the way, and I really liked the decor.

                              1. re: chrishei
                                chowseeker1999 Aug 3, 2013 10:29 AM

                                thanks chris, peter.

                                by "TINY", are we talking about individual tasting menu portions (or close)? :>

                                and chris, were you full by the end of the night? and if you were, how much did you pay to be 100% full? thanx!

                                1. re: chowseeker1999
                                  PeterCC Aug 3, 2013 10:47 AM

                                  For me the pork cheeks were two-bite pieces (I could probably one-bite them), and there were only two pieces on the plate. There was what we both thought was a bigger third piece of meat on the plate, but disappointingly it was a grilled piece of bread. Individual tasting menu size is probably a good way to visualize the portions.

                                  I was not full by the end of the night and I almost joked to Chris about going out for a second dinner. The final cost came out to $50/pp including tax and tip, for the following:

                                  Foccacia $5
                                  Meatballs, Uni, Tortelloni* $40
                                  Pork Cheeks $20
                                  2 Beers $11

                                  Those are SINGLE orders of each dish. Definitely not enough for two grown men.

                                  *I can't remember the exact prices of these three dishes but they added up to $40 (total bill before tax and tip was $76). I think the dishes were $10, $14, $16, respectively.

                                  1. re: PeterCC
                                    chowseeker1999 Aug 3, 2013 11:01 AM

                                    thanx Peter!

                                    wow... as much as i love chef funke's cooking at rustic canyon, those portion sizes and price / value seem awful! :< sigh...

                      2. re: PeterCC
                        CulverJack Aug 3, 2013 11:17 AM

                        Was there last night as well. All of the comments below sum it up very well. Portions a bit too small for the $$$. I have confidence they will adjust. I wouldn't mind paying $10 more on the bill to leave happier (e.g. More satiated). That's what we leave the house for, right?

                        Best dish of the night for me was strascinati, a thicker dumpling like shell, rich with pork and well put together. This hit on all level of rich and salt and silk and was what I was expecting from the chef. Burrata with figs was great, but hard to mess that up when you have good ingredients. Porchetta was 70% fatty with dense meaty parts, didn't work so well for me but I may not get what he's going for there. Son liked octopus since that's how he rolls, and desserts fine but not wow for us. $180 total for 2 adults and a kidlet. That speaks volumes, I'd say.

                        This is my fave food area of the moment, and I was, frankly, expecting more. I hope Evan is reading this or at least has people he trusts that are saying the same. All the pieces are there. Decor is great, interior bright and not loud at all, beautiful front patio. Servers all. Very warm and helpful, a bit of scurrying as they figure things out, but that will settle down. I have some faith, I think they'll adjust. The hounds once again have it right, just wanted to add my 1 cent. I had 2, but after last night I'm now down to 1. And next time I don't want to run into any other tables at Coolhaus.


                        1. re: CulverJack
                          ilysla Aug 3, 2013 01:30 PM

                          Thanks for all the early reviews. Sounds like the food is fine, but the prices seem a bit too dear for my tastes right now. Will see if subsequent visitors post that the portions sizes have increased b/c making a visit myself (I is a bit of a cheap-o, in that sense....).

                      3. re: Baron
                        Baron Aug 3, 2013 12:23 PM

                        I have to admit that the portions were very small. Good thing we all had a big lunch so we were not too hungry but all that we had was very good. Maybe they should offer appetizer size and entree size. Great latte. $3'

                    2. Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2013 03:18 PM

                      Just snagged a rez for tonight..I was very surprised. Someone must have just cancelled - even the woman answering the phone seemed shocked something was available.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Ciao Bob
                        ilysla Aug 2, 2013 03:20 PM

                        Hope it's better than your recent tapas experience....

                        1. re: ilysla
                          Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2013 03:28 PM

                          Ugggghhhhhhh...you are so right.
                          If only I was a little smarter I would not leap at the chance to try something new, especially something new with a buzz. It would be a great, great buzz kill if Bucato doesn't deliver. I feel I am on a surer footing than I was with Taverna but you never know...

                          1. re: Ciao Bob
                            PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 03:38 PM

                            Taberna had middling reviews and it was Michael Cardenas' bona fides carrying it, though Lazy Ox's reputation was heavily dependent on the chef, Rocher/Centeno. Since Evan Funke is both owner and chef, and reviews so far have been excellent, I agree you're on surer footing here.

                            1. re: PeterCC
                              J.L. Aug 2, 2013 03:41 PM

                              So tough to predict these things, even when the owner/chef are well-known quantities.

                              1. re: J.L.
                                Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2013 03:48 PM

                                This will be a great thread: Places the Shoud've, But Didn't

                              2. re: PeterCC
                                Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2013 03:46 PM

                                Thanks, Peter, for restoring the wind to my....

                                1. re: Ciao Bob
                                  J.L. Aug 2, 2013 03:52 PM


                                  1. re: J.L.
                                    bulavinaka Aug 2, 2013 05:41 PM


                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                      PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 05:53 PM

                                      I did work at Pfizer once upon a time.

                                      1. re: PeterCC
                                        Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2013 07:18 PM

                                        But, just for the record, you never worked upon me.

                                  2. re: Ciao Bob
                                    PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 04:02 PM

                                    I'd rather be the wind beneath your...

                                    (Ouch, that's a ripped sail. Are you trying to tell me something?)

                          2. Baron Aug 1, 2013 07:18 PM

                            Thanks Myers. I'm going this weekend.

                            17 Replies
                            1. re: Baron
                              maudies5 Aug 1, 2013 07:59 PM

                              As you are going this weekend, Baron, I assume the "same day reservation" policy is not strictly enforced?

                              1. re: maudies5
                                Baron Aug 2, 2013 06:28 AM

                                They still have the "same day reservation" policy. I'll probably go tonight. I spoke to them on the phone. Still no menu on line.

                                1. re: myers1935
                                  Baron Aug 2, 2013 12:48 PM

                                  What did you have? And what can you recommend? Going tonight!

                                  1. re: myers1935
                                    PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 03:05 PM

                                    What's the pricing like?

                                    1. re: PeterCC
                                      chrishei Aug 2, 2013 03:21 PM

                                      Someone on Yelp managed to take a photo of the menu: http://s3-media4.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

                                      1. re: chrishei
                                        PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 03:24 PM

                                        Thanks! Those prices seem reasonable, if my eyes are reading them right. Pastas for $14? Porchetta for $16?

                                        1. re: PeterCC
                                          ilysla Aug 2, 2013 03:25 PM

                                          Wait, is this the same guy that ran the Porchetta Truck? That porchetta was phenomenal....

                                          1. re: ilysla
                                            PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 03:35 PM

                                            Yep! On their last day of operations, I picked up 3 of those porchetta sandwiches. Mmm. I miss that truck! Can't wait until Bucato starts lunch service. (Easier for me to get out for lunch than for dinner.)

                                            1. re: PeterCC
                                              chrishei Aug 2, 2013 03:45 PM


                                              1. re: PeterCC
                                                ilysla Aug 2, 2013 03:49 PM

                                                Oh, yum, yum, yum. If the pasta are really $14, then it certainly sounds worth a try. So sad the porchetta is triple the price, but charging only $5 was like giving it away, so I can't say I blame them....

                                                1. re: ilysla
                                                  PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 04:01 PM

                                                  Well, it's a porchetta entree, not a sandwich.

                                                  He told me (that last day of the truck) that he'll do the sandwich again when lunch service starts at Bucato. I'm assuming it'll cost a little more, maybe $8 or $9, to account for the overhead of running a restaurant.

                                                  1. re: PeterCC
                                                    ilysla Aug 2, 2013 04:08 PM

                                                    I was simply going by your post (since I can barely make out any of the text in the pic! Y'all must have very good eyes....).

                                                    $8-9 sounds great to me....

                                                    1. re: ilysla
                                                      PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 04:12 PM

                                                      FWIW, the menu says "Porchetta della Casa wild arugula, lemon" so it doesn't say it's _not_ a sandwich, but at that price I would be surprised if it wasn't an entree.

                                                      1. re: myers1935
                                                        Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2013 04:27 PM

                                                        And the porchetta? Nice mix of tender bits and crunchy bits, or does it lean more to one side?

                                                        1. re: Ciao Bob
                                                          PeterCC Aug 2, 2013 04:33 PM

                                                          Like the leaning tower of P(orchett)isa?

                                                          1. re: myers1935
                                                            Ciao Bob Aug 2, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                            sounds good

                                        2. re: myers1935
                                          Baron Aug 2, 2013 07:36 PM

                                          Just had a great meal at Bucato. Squash blossoms, foccacia, heirloom tomato salad, grilled octopus served on a bed of beans, salad and tomatoes (best I've ever had) a pasta dish, quail served on a bed of beans and salad, great wines by the glass. Best latte ever along with these little puffy doughnut things for desert. The service was above par, the presentation was perfect. Small portions, yes, but that is fine with me. Also very comfortable booths. Came away feeling this was the best dinner I've had lately. I will go back soon.

                                  2. m
                                    maudies5 Aug 1, 2013 04:13 PM

                                    I am very anxious to go there. Evan Funke is a brilliant chef.

                                    1. J.L. Jul 29, 2013 09:45 PM


                                      Bucato is expected to open Wednesday, July 31.

                                      3280 Helms Ave.
                                      Culver City

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: J.L.
                                        aching Jul 31, 2013 09:44 PM

                                        I stuck my head in last weekend - it's a great space with some gorgeous furniture. I'm really excited to try it!

                                        1. re: aching
                                          jessejames Aug 1, 2013 10:25 AM

                                          Cliff Spencer did the woodwork inside. He's very talented.


                                      2. c
                                        CLowe Nov 6, 2012 07:18 PM

                                        I'm excited! I've been a big Rustic Canyon fan since it opened. Should be good!

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: CLowe
                                          Baron Nov 7, 2012 07:23 AM

                                          Lets hope! Now all CC needs is a GOOD old fashion Chinese restaurant.

                                          1. re: Baron
                                            carter Nov 7, 2012 08:32 PM

                                            You do realize that is an oxymoron!

                                            1. re: Baron
                                              westsidegal Jul 30, 2013 11:09 AM

                                              praytell, Baron,
                                              what IS a good, old fashion chinese restaurant?

                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                Baron Jul 30, 2013 11:16 AM

                                                I have to tell you? Lets start with ....say...Man fook lo.

                                                1. re: Baron
                                                  westsidegal Oct 13, 2013 05:08 PM

                                                  oh, outside of my territory.

                                              2. re: Baron
                                                goldpackage Oct 8, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                Does hu's not fit your description?

                                                1. re: goldpackage
                                                  Baron Oct 8, 2013 07:42 AM

                                                  Hu's on National? Went there years ago and had an unpleasant experience. Maybe it was because the place had just been fumigated. Should I give it another chance?

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