In the heart of Culver City I like to call a certain part of Culver Blvd "restaurant row", simply because there are rows and rows of restaurants, cafe and bistrots, all of which look spectacular, whether they actually are? I'm not too sure.
Sunday, late lunch, birthday meal in Culver City's restaurant row, place? L'Epicerie Market, a French restaurant and cafe with a beautiful selection of wine, good coffee, pastries and delicious French cuisine.
A farm -style table that seats eight in a quiet alcove of the restaurant, the table is surrounded by walls shelved with a variety of wine. Flanked by good company on all sides, discussions of French culture, relationships and food is at hand. I order a cup of Mocha to start, to moisten my throat and lips from all the talking. The mocha is light and smooth going down, delicious Mocha made for delicate, graceful ladies is the best I can describe the character of L'Epicerie Mocha.
The meal is started with a cheese-board: a slice of fig, jam, and four varieties of cheese. All four cheeses have incredibly different tastes and textures and though I do not enjoy the taste of all four it is interesting to taste and compare, as if a cheese connoisseur.
|Seared tuna salad|
Mr. Borscht opts to start his meal with a seared tuna salad, the tuna is seared, raw in the middle and absolutely divine. The salad contains Bib lettuce, slices of cucumber, boiled egg, kalamata olives and feta cheese. Dressed to perfection, flavorful but light on the palate - a delicate tasting salad choice.
Tummy on the other hand starts with the beet salad: Arugula, roasted red and orange beets, a poached egg on top that I mistook for Mozzarella cheese and bread crisp. The arugula and beets are dressed with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, a perfect dressing to go with the hearty flavors of roasted beets and the peppery arugula. But between you and me, I preferred the lightness of Mr. Borscht's seared tuna salad, opposed to the heartier and more wintery flavors of the beet salad.
Mr. Borscht goes all out and decides upon a gorgeous looking, and tasting, hamburger. Perfectly medium-rare Angus beef patty enclosed between poppy-seed hamburger buns, flanked by a thick slice of tomato, arugula, gorgonzola and gruyere cheese... and a side of roasted potatoes that were roasted to perfection, ever so slightly crisp on the edges while buttery delicious on the inside.
Tummy orders the Smoked Salmon Crepe as her main entree. Standing at about a 1/4" thick, the crepe envelopes a delightful mixture of medium creamy sauce and mixture of bits of vegetables such as corn and peas, and of course there is the bits of salmon that is slightly salty, smoky and salmon-tasting. this dish too, is delicious, whether it takes home the gold for smoked salmon crepe is questionable, but still I do recommend this crepe to those looking for one in Los Angeles and Culver City.
|Smoked salmon crepe|
The service was impeccable for a restaurant cafe, and indeed the food here is fantastic for such a casual dining experience- I suppose a little bit of the French culture (speaking aside from food) has carried over into L'Epicerie Market. It is a restaurant cafe where the well-roundedness is its strong point, the service -nothing less than perfect, the wine list - extraordinary, the French food - delicious, the coffee - perfect, and the pastries and desserts - delightful.
The variety and options allowed here is what I was most impressed with, like the starting cheese board with four distinct cheese flavors this theme of "options" seemed to carry on throughout the restaurant. Sit in the cafe section with your laptop and a cup of freshly brewed coffee, sit at the wine bar, would you like pastries and coffee to go? Not a problem! Or fully dine as we had. Try our escargot during dinner or simply buy it canned packed with snail shells as well to make in the comfort of your own home.... Its all seems to be here.
The Damage: $57.00 +/-
1 Smoke salmon crepe
1 Angus Hamburger
1 Beet salad
1 Sear tuna salad
9900 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232