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May 12, 2013 10:19 PM

Muddy Leek Culver City

It’s been written before that the restaurant occupies an inauspicious location on the ground floor of an office building about two blocks east of the Helms complex in Culver City. But what’s lost on the location is found in the food.

It’s well prepared, and fresh tasting. And the flavor profiles just work, which is notable given the variety of ingredients.

They make their own non-alcoholic drinks including a lemon-lime pomegranate, which is a tart eye-opener, and a lemon-lime ginger which will clear out your troubles (it’s got a strong ginger taste). We really enjoyed both of them.

A special starter this night was a porcini ragu atop garlic bread. This set the pace for the evening, with what could have been a messy proposition. But thankfully chef used bread that was easily cut so the dish was eater-friendly. The ragu was rich, with a slight acidity and interesting texture atop the lightly garlicked, and slightly sweet bread. We were off to a good start.

Next was the leek and egg appetizer atop a quarter inch flat puff pastry, which was also slightly sweet. The leeks were in a sauce that served to bind the dish together with the sunny side up egg hidden beneath a nasturtium sabayon. The presentation was quite sophisticated, and the flavors lived up to it. This dish went fast.

Chicken liver mousse atop toast was a bit off-balance. The mousse was piled high to the point that it was like we were eating it without anything else. Thankfully, on top was a vinegar-laced fig compote that served to relieve the earthiness of the liver, if spread across the entire top of the mousse. This dish could use a little re-thinking... like reduce the amount of mousse, apply the compote under the mousse, and find another element for the top to add some variety.

Rounding out the main meal was the flatiron steak, served with garlic flan and asparagus. The meat was cooked to a medium well, although we requested just less than medium, however it was so tender that there was no reason to be disappointed. And it had a rich meaty flavor that we quite enjoyed. The garlic flan was light and airy, a little too airy for my taste, but I chalk this up to preference. And the asparagus was very fresh and cooked perfectly. This was another very enjoyable dish.

For dessert, we had to try both the donuts and the blackberry lemon verbena pie. The donuts were fresh and served with a blueberry compote and lemon curd sauce. The sauces worked perfectly together, and complemented the cinnamon sugar coated donut holes well.

But my favorite was the pie. It was a personal pie, a tart of sorts, with a delicious sweetish soft crust, filled with whole blackberries and a light lemony cream sauce with almonds over the top. I loved this dish.

All in all, this was a nice meal for about $100 for two, a bargain for the quality of food.

Muddy Leek
8631 Washington Blvd. (2 blocks east of the Helms building)
Culver City

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  1. Super fan of "Muddy Leak" +1

    I worked in CC for a few weeks and fell in love with the place. The pastry chef is very good (former Craft) and he won some awards from zagat this year. He's well trained & really good.

    The happy hour is, well, happy - they have a chicken-fried-bacon of all things (southern boy smiling now.) Good beer and I think the menu changes often, if not daily. The Speck & Manchego grilled cheesed is fabulous.

    They also own, which I use for my business / appreciation events, I think they may keep the same staff for each.

    But, I think, most important - is their FISH TACOS, a daily selection of fresh fish and served at lunch for a reasonable price. This will be my write up if we ever get a FISH TOCO month! The restaurant, I hear, is starting to fill up much faster, so get it whilst the gettin' is good. ~~ck

    1. funny, i didn't care for the leek and egg. the few dishes i tried were nothing more than passable, though i'd love to go back and try that blackberry lemon verbena. :p

      1. How's the noise level here? Considering it for a lunch meeting (only two of us, so it doesn't have to be uber-quiet).


        2 Replies
        1. re: Fig Newton

          I've been three times and encountered a few business meetings. It is quite, but has a good vibe. Privacy, but not dead. Call ahead and let them know, I'm sure they will accommodate a far corner table and respect your meeting.

          1. re: CharlesKochel

            terrific. sounds like exactly what i need -- thank you.