Monday, February 7, 2011

The Bravest dineLA: Waterloo & City's Blood Cake & Marrow Pie

My current dineLA strategy is to review all of the online menus and pick the restaurant with the best menu. When I noticed that Culver City's English upscale gastropub Waterloo & City was offering Beef and Bone Marrow pie as one of their entree selections, I knew this had to be one of my dineLA selections.

I've dined at W&C a couple times and enjoyed pretty much every dish I've ordered, from their outstanding charcuterie selections (their Chicken liver and foie gras mousse is decadent) to their unique pizzas (try their Murgh Makhni Pizza with Greek yogurt and cucumber) and comforting bowls of pasta (Linguini with Veal Sweetbreads).

On top of an impressive beer list, Waterloo & City has a respectable cocktail list.

Despite looking fruity and girly, the Basil dazzle (plymoth Gin, Basil, Lemon juice, Creme de Casis) was a very stiff drink.

Their selection of fresh bread included 7 grain, wheat and garlic Ciabatta.

Potted Pork and Truffle Parfait, Toasted Brioche, Cornichons
Waterloo & City really excels in their house made charcuterie. They have a vast selection on their regular menu including Pig Trotters & Sweetbreads, and Rabbit & Pistachio Terrine. The next time I dine at W&C, I'm going to order their Kings Platter which includes Chef 's selection of terrines, pates and rillettes. Their potted pork parfait was intensely offal in flavor but yet delicate and silky in texture.

Pan Fried Blood Cake, Fried Organic Egg, Toasted Pain Poilane
This was a new addition to the dineLA menu that wasn't listed online. When I saw it on the menu, I was ecstatic. Blood cake, or blood pudding, is made from pigs blood and is traditionally made into sausages. The blood cake was rich but didn't have a irony flavor that many might expect. It was also a bit more dense and less like jello, unlike the blood cakes at Chinese restaurants. There were little chunks of gelatinous fat within the cake. It was served with a tangy vinegar that cut the richness of the blood cake. I thought the fried egg was a nice addition. I liked the texture of the runny yolk with the tender cake.

House Merguez & Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, Chickpeas
This dish reminded me of a slow cooked cassoulet. The lamb shoulder was tender like it had been stewed for hours. The Merguez had a spicy zing to it.

Prime Beef & Bone Marrow Pie, Potato Puree
I loved the rustic presentation of the pie served on a skillet with a bone marrow inserted in the center. It was bold. I was pleased that the prime beef was minced instead of large cubes because the meat was crumbly and tender. The flavors of the pie from the seasoned meat to the tender mirepoix and potatoes were rich and hearty. The fatty marrow was intensely heart-clogging and perfect when spread on the buttery pastry crust.

I tried my best but could barely get through half the pie. Very poor showing.

The potato puree, though very creamy and well-seasoned, was barely touched because the pie itself was too filling.

Sticky Toffee Pudding, Milk Ice Cream
I've enjoyed every dessert I've had at Waterloo & City and this is no exception. The toffee pudding was warm and exceedingly rich. I liked the caramelized exterior of the cake with a spongy interior.

"Tiramisu", Espresso Meringue, Espresso Ice Cream
This was sort of a deconstructed tiramisu with meringue in lieu of ladies fingers. I liked the airiness and crunch of the meringues.

Waterloo & City really excels at serving good comfort food. The flavors are rich, warm and hearty, although prepared with finesse. Even though I've been to the restaurant about five times, there are still many items on the menu that I cannot wait to try. They also have specials that they switch up daily. Service has been exceptional every time I've been here. This is definitely my type of place: a cool vibe with a menu that leaves you satisfied and blissful. Very unlike most English food that many people cringe at.

Hits: great deal, blood cake, beef & marrow pie, desserts
Misses: really heavy food so be prepared to be stuffed
Rating: ***1/2

Waterloo & City
12517 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066


bagnatic said...

oh wow, seeing your dineLA posts makes me feel like i should have researched and gone to one.

and that bone marrow pie looks CRAZY. dang.

Banana Wonder said...

Very impressive dinning going on here. The way you describe that blood cake makes me want to try it, no iron or jello!

Diana said...

Stephanie, where oh where are the vegetables? ;)

I do, however, very much approve of that sticky toffee pudding - one of the best versions I've ever had!