The Wallace

Restaurant in Los Angeles

Seasonally Inspired California Cuisine

“Y’gonna finish that?”

May as well be the tag line under The Wallace insignia, an artful upside down chair (look closely and you’ll see the “W”) one of one thousand custom designed details subtly simmering within these well dressed walls.  Sharing may be caring and the name of the game at the latest in Culver City’s answer to the locally sourced, seasonally inspired shared plate uprising.  Problem is, you’re not going to want to share any of it.

Everything is just that good.

Starting with all that is shaken and stirred.  I bypassed the opportunity to sample one of their house sodas, despite my better judgement given the reputation of the persimmon and the sound of the chai-fennel.  Instead I went with the Dream Catcher – irresistible with its yellow chartreuse, vodka, ginger, and lime.  Light, clean, palate readying perfection.  Sorry soda.  Next time.

Cut to the cured items – the gruyere and black pepper popovers actually taste better than they are fun to say – which I thought would be impossible. Side of chive butter – these babies are dipped in something celestial.  Piping hot, billowy inside, dreamy.  Still thinking about them.  The salmon belly, with the wafer thin pumpernickel shavings, cucumber, beets, and horseradish – the texture is only outdone by the flavour.  This from a palate that knows its way around lox.  Sensational.  And the salt cod fritters?  Thank you ma’am, may we have another.

Vegetarians, you will not suffer, nor will you be slighted.  Vegetable offerings are multiple and straight up off the charts.  The grilled cauliflower, with the rosemary and the creamy Parmesan almond situation up top?  Incredible.  Convert capable even for the cauliflower haters, I know, because my dining partner was one.  Was.  Wild mushroom ragout?  Atop polenta?  Ridiculous.  And the sprouting broccoli?  With some tahini going on, I am telling you, with veggies likes these, I ended up neglecting three quarters of the menu.  Which was a shame.  The lemon fish crudo.  Shrimp and chickpea pancake.  So many on my list left untried.  But explains why nearly every conversation going on around me seemed to revolve around encore visits.  Totally get it.

Brand new and bustling, I don’t anticipate the buzz to die down anytime soon.  Not if they keep cooking those popovers like that.  The provisions far supersede others in the locally sourced and sustainable ingredient market, while the calibre of the cuisine might excuse a little pretension, none exists here.  True to Culver culture, it is a breezy, easy answer to where to go to grab a bite, a drink, a dinner where the tab won’t soar but the desire to return, will.  The service is excellent, the sustenance, even better.  It is just fine to want to eat well, locally, and taste as much as you can.  The Wallace, small in square footage but huge on how-to, is a most mouth-watering where to do so.

Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles

Reviewer's Rating
Cuisine American
Need to book Advisable
Clientele Locals, locavores, after work crowd, plenty for vegetarians
Restaurant good for Couples, Bar scene, Meeting up with friends
Cost per head Medium
Dress Code Casual
Dining Options Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Additional Ambience Information

Hip, low lit, California cool. Nice outdoor patio, street side, excellent for people watching.

Additional Price Comments

You get a lot for a little here. Shared plates have a history of leaving me wanting. The portions are more than ample and the preparations are so tantalizing, it’s easy to order more than you can consume. So be it. That’s what doggy bags are for.

Last updated on 19-01-2014

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