I can’t be sure what exactly I was expecting out of The Corner Door in Culver City, but I guess it should be known that one of the few things worth traveling to that quandrant for – in my opinion – was ramen, Rutt’s and Roy Choi (even then, I’d still point out that Roy grew up on the eastside of Los Angeles). There have been new restaurants springing up lately, but in a lot of ways, they were neighborhood stops. It seems The Corner Door has found a great balance between being that neighborhood place, and in a lot of ways is heading towards existing as a destination. When you have great food and inspiring cocktails, that’s just what tends to happen.
Brunch remains the fruition of the ultimate Southern Californian snub – a meal Angeleno dilettantes could fit into their schedules almost any day of the year if they wanted to, and on an outdoor patio, at that. While I once considered the tweener meal synonymous with a certain 3rd Street spot known as much for their celebrity sightings as for their fruit cup and egg dishes, brunch has become a fact of life. There is now no shortage of restaurants – most of whom don’t even offer lunch service on the weekdays – who open early on the weekends for brunch. It’s become a ritual, a pastime that has become justification for that Friday or Saturday night hangover. With that comes competition and an audience that is no longer enamored with the existence of eggs on the menu.
The Animal boys are back at it with their heavy hand. This time, the medium is seafood, and there were certainly more hits than misses when I made my first visit last week.
We started out with a lobster roll each, and were all glad that we turned this “shared plate” into a “per person” situation since it’s on the small side. It was a solid, Maine-style (with mayo) lobster roll with chips on top as a nice, crunchy touch and came in an appropriately buttery bun. Case closed.
The shrimp toast came next, and it was a quintessential umami moment. All conversation ceased as we chewed and thought, our tastebuds absolutely titillated, our eyes shut. We observed and relished the same reaction elicited from our neighbors by the dish at the large communal table at which we sat. This was a shared moment where I found myself not so annoyed by the communal, mess hall-style dining. On the other side of them, however, sat a New York food writer/ex-pat of a full year who amazingly stated that he didn’t believe Mexican food was better in LA than in New York. That’s another story. 😉
Next came the brandade, which, not to belabor the point, was another essential small plate. The texture of the cod mixture was perfect – not too mushy, not too tacky. The whole grain mustard seeds kicked it up a notch. Though there might have been a period of time not so long ago where I was sick of seeing it everywhere, arugula was a nice choice, here, as the accompanying greens. The bitterness matched the mustard seeds really nicely. Of course, the runny egg with runny yolk is no small detail. What you have here is a bowl full of win.
While everything we had thus far was pretty rich, it wasn’t too much. But it was nice to mix things up with the Albacore Tataki, which was seasoned just perfectly with radish, citrus soy and a few sesame seeds. You could taste the freshness of the fish, and tt was a refreshing reprieve from all the other butter-based dishes we had. I’d order it again if only I weren’t so curious about the other fish dishes on the menu (like the Pink Grouper).
We had heard that the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($11)Â was a must-order, and so we did exactly that. It had a tasty, peppery breading surrounding hot, tender chicken. The jalapeno coleslaw with pickles was a really nice touch but I actually found myself wishing there were more jalapenos and much more kick in it. It was still solid, though.
The Alligator Schnitzel with hearts of palm and oranges ($14) came last, which was really the only miss in our whole meal. The schnitzel was largely forgettable and seemed an item that was put on the menu in order to widen its range. No matter. There are plenty of other delicious items to try.
With the menu changing daily, depending on ingredients, I feel like I had barely scratched the surface that is Son of a Gun. It’s a bustling dining spot with mostly communal tables and walk-inÂ opportunities. They also have a good selection of cocktails (I did enjoy my Sazerac, but consumed it while occupying “standing room only”) which range from $8 – $16 and is only more reason why I feel like I need to go back. Although they’re open until 11 PM or even 1 AM on the weekends, they do run out of favorites. Don’t wait – it’s a really exciting place to eat. Just don’t be surprised if you bump a few elbows; it’s guaranteed you will.
Sun – Thur: 6 PM – 11 PM
Fri – Sat: 6 PM – 1 AM
Lunch service coming soon
Son of a Gun
8370 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048