Muddy Leek

Restaurant in Los Angeles

Farm To Table Restaurant

Cabbage soup.  The ban on carbs.  With all of our fads and all of our flings by God I think we finally got it right.  The farm to table trend rooted relatively recently in Los Angeles.

But like all that is cultivated here, we polish it to a glorious shimmer and suddenly, nothing is more fabulous than feasting à la farm.  And fitting: what was once an underground pop-up phenomenon has stealthily surfaced into the brick and mortar.  What better way to get stuck in The Mud.

Housed in humble, burgeoning Culver City, Muddy Leek is born of Post Ranch Inn pedigree and Bon Melange Catering.  The husband and wife union of Chef Whitney Flood and Julie Retzlaff was a super foodie superpower waiting to happen.  One bite of the pomegranate molasses over those pan roasted heirloom squash, and it is immediately revealed, the wait is over.

Another nod to The Culver that Could – the staff is as savvy as the menu.  If you show up on a night when Rachel’s working, you will be treated to her snappy wit and whip quick knowledge of every ingredient listed – from the exotic to the elementary.  It’s beyond a courtesy, it’s a comfort when you ask what makes the Italian Mule so vibrantly refreshing, and your rhetoric is met with response.  Amaro Meletti.  A spirit with a side of education.  I will drink to that.

Chef Flood’s mastery of the mushroom alone is worth your trip.  From the citrusy spin in the forest mushroom risotto to the earthy balance in the chanterelles and eggs, clearly the man glories in all that goodness from the ground.  And while his reverence to the inherent purity of produce is unmistakable, he’s not afraid to deck it out in black truffle vinaigrette.  Do not bypass the mushroom, spinach, and leek tart.  Or the baked mac and cheese with spinach.

And while we’re praising the almighty vegetable, the kabocha squash gnocchi in sage brown butter.  It’s dessert.  It’s not, but it melts as decadently and tastes as indulgent on your palate.  And, it’s potato free.  Try that on for squash.

We had ourselves a vegetarian night (the options were too ample to choose – we haven’t even discussed what caramelization does to Coastal Farms baby broccoli), but by no means feel you will be constrained to such.  Squab tacos.  Venison medallions.  Grass fed flat iron steak.  You get back to me.

Dining your way through a city is the most delicious means of understanding its culture.  If this is true, and I believe it to be, I am ever so proud of what we have become.  Market-driven by the sustainable, not stock, an artisanally defined deference to peppers over pop culture, hand crafted cocktails and locally sourced ingredients in a neighbourhood redefining itself one culinary uptick at a time.  Welcome to our fine city.  Take a bite of how we’ve grown.

Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles

Muddy Leek on Urbanspoon

Reviewer's Rating
Cuisine American
Need to book Advisable
Clientele Locals and locavores, those out for artisanal cuisine priced exceptionally well
Restaurant good for Couples, Meeting up with friends
Cost per head Medium
Dress Code Casual
Dining Options Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Additional Ambience Information

Minimalist and modern, marble table tops and mismatched dangles of oblong bulbs. Great café-lit patio in the back.

Additional Price Comments

Salads from $10; Appetizers from $8; Lunch Entrées from $12 (Dinner Entrées from $21); Sharing Plates from $8; Desserts from $8. Cocktails all $12; glass of wine from $7, bottle $25.

Last updated on 26-02-2013

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