9900 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Dining date: 6/21/11
L’Epicerie opened in December, a French restaurant/marketplace in Culver City from Thierry Perez (Fraiche). There’s a little bit of everything on offer in the marketplace, from wine & cheese, to oils and vinegars, charcuterie, and pre-made meals. On the restaurant side, the food is rustic French.
Just three months ago, a chef change brought in Sébastien Archambault to redesign the menu. Archambault was previously cooking at RH at the Andaz where he garnered pretty strong reviews. I never made it out there, but an invitation to L’Epicerie would be the perfect opportunity to try some of his cuisine.
Egg Cocotte creamy mushrooms
Yummy. The mushrooms were tender and tasty, while the runny egg added a nice richness and creaminess to pair with the crusty, buttered bread.
Beef Tongue sauce diable
The tongue was really tender, with that distinctive ‘tongue’ flavor. A little bit of heat in the sauce made things a little more interesting, but the beef itself was delicious.
Chicken Wings Confit
Nothing too special about these wings, but they were good.
Braised Beef Cheek risotto arborio, red wine sauce, arugula, parmesan cheese
I had to order this given the description. Braised beef cheeks over risotto? Sold. The beef was extremely tender, rich and flavorful. I liked the risotto as well, though I found the parmesan to be a little strong. Still, very comfortable flavors that mixed well.
Niman Ranch Pork Chop green peas, heirloom potatoes, garlic confit
The pork was tender and moist, though not overly so. It was cooked a nice medium, but just wasn’t quite as memorable as our other entrees.
Perigord Cassoulet garlic sausage, pork belly, duck confit, white beans
I liked the crispy duck, as well as the rich creaminess of the white beans. The pork belly was deliciously tender as well. A really savory, hearty dish.
Crêpe Suzette citrus caramel, vanilla ice cream, Grand Marnier sauce
Finally, we split one dessert. I was glad this was rather light (given all the food prior), with a bright citrus flavor from orange rind and the Grand Marnier.
This meal exceeded expectations. The marketplace is rather unassuming, but the food coming out of the kitchen was actually very good. For the most part, the menu stays within a comfort zone of French classics and does them well. I found it to be very comforting and sort of homey, and quite tasty.
Note: This was a sponsored meal.