Dinner at Muddy Leek Sept. 24, 2013

Located in a very up and coming artsy neighborhood, with the EXPO line stopping near by. This place is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Chef Whitney Flood has thought of everything. The food is so delicately balanced, what comes out of his kitchen its like a weird science project, but in a very good way. Flavors pop off the plate and pour into your mouth. Every dish is a feast for your eyes, and most importantly your taste buds.

The space used to be Sublim Food Lounge and then Batch Restaurant and Bar. Muddy Leek took over in December of last year, and is an organic, sustainable, farm-to-table concept by co-owners Julie Retzlaff and husband/chef Whitney Flood. What started off as Bon Melange, a Los Angeles catering service, eventually grew to underground Muddy Leek pop-up dinner parties at different locations around town. On December 14, 2012 Muddy Leek opens as a brick and mortar restaurant for friends and family, going full force December 17, 2012.

My server Peter Sabri, who worked prior at Acabar, The Ivy, Il Couvo, and The Pikey, added a nice sensibility to my outstanding experience. Beverage Director and Sommelier Sara Godot, made me aware of how grand their assortment of alcohol is, used for a variety of great mixed cocktails. She entered a Perfect Manhattan completion with her specialized quinoa whiskey. Bartender Moe Irvin over saw the making of my very special cocktails.

The publicist made the arrangements for me to have 2 appetizers, 2 entrees and 2 deserts. Chef Whitney threw in some extras, which was very sweet, here’s what I tried:
Specialty Cocktails:

Lorne with 360 Vodka, pomegranate, grapefruit, ginger, rosewater and cardamom bitters. This cocktail is truly a work of art. It has a very large ice cube that is at the bottom of the glass topped with a sprig of rosemary, but as you drink the ice cube floats to the top with the rosemary perfectly still in place on top of the ice cube.

Dobbs with bourbon, SW vermouth and chartreuse. This is for the Old Fashion lovers, it will bring you back to that cocktail with just a little bit of extra fun.

Here are the wines I tried:

Donkey & Goat, Chardonnay, El Dorado CA 2012, this is not an over the top oak filled wine, it has nice a fruit forward feel, it managed to stand up to the cauliflower croquettes with its rich creamy flavors.

Normand Macon le Roche Vinuse, Chardonnay, Burgundy France 2010. This wine was fantastic with the scallops; it hosted all the flavors without washing out the marriage of ingredients.

Pittnauer, Zweigelt Blaufrankisch, ROT Burgenland, Austria 2010. This one is a no brainer with the flat iron steak. This wine is kind of effervescent, but with its glorious rich fruit flavor.

Ridge Ponzo Zinfandel Russian River Valley, CA 20008, I just had a very small amount of this brilliant wine, honesty I could drink this with anything, its that good.

Caladroy Cotes du Rousillon Syrah Roussillon France 2010, this wine was outstanding as well, and worked so nicely with the steak as well.


Tomato Soup, this was a very sweet tomato soup, with simple but fantastic flavors.

Chanterelles & Egg, with roasted Kobacha squash, and sasparilla molasses. The combination of all of these simple ingredients work so well together, but I loved the chanterelles with the sarsaparilla molasses, so earthy and sweet.

Cauliflower croquettes with cauliflower kimchi
pickled vegetables. They are like little tater tots but with cauliflower. They are crispy on the outside and melty on the inside. This is an astonishing accomplishment.

Chicken Fried bacon with tomatoes jam, this dish is very creative! The bacon is very reminiscent of snetzle, moist and tender.


Diver Scallops with braised pork belly, pine nut emulsion & charred peppers. For me this dish was a stand out. The pine nut emulsion is very creamy with lots of pine nut flavor. The scallops are large size and cooked with just the slightest crust, make my mouth water just to think about it.

Grass Fed Flat Iron Steak, smoked onion jam and shoe string potatoes. The steak is cooked rare and the onion jam adds a fantastic uber smoky taste. The shoestring potatoes knocked me out, what a different take on a standard dish.


Winter squash gnocchi with sage butter. I love the concept of this gnocchi, because I always order a pumpkin or squash ravioli with sage butter, so this fits into my favorite food wheelhouse big time.

Chocolate Sugar Pie, with oatmeal cookie crust and maple custard. Ok truly great, I took most of hit home and had to eat the whole thing the next day. The cookie crust and the chocolate were a big hit with me.

Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta with shaved Asian pears. Light with nice fresh fruit but I would get the Sugar pie over this every time.

The interior is very simple setting the stage for outstanding cuisine. There are nice modern art pieces hanging over the bar, and an interesting wood slated ceiling. Then there is a very inviting patio, 3 strings of lights run the full length of this outdoor wonderland. Nice touches add to the ambiance and the food.

They support Coastal Farms, Sweredowski Farms, Tutti Fruitti Farms, Weiser Farms, Mike & Sons Eggs, Scarborough Farms, Grove Farms, Frog Hollow Farms.

For all you foodies out there, this is the place to try. There are so many choices when dining in Culver City now; there has been big food resurgence in this small community. Muddy Leek’s food is organic and sustainable, and always made from scratch, supporting local farmers and producers. Their menu changes frequently, depending on what is in season. Muddy Leek is charming, but very understated, but the care and detail that goes into every plate is so worth every cent. Truly a great find in this fantastic fun artsy neighborhood.

Muddy Leek
8631 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232


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