What a revelation! The dinner I had tonight at Sublime Food Lounge was so delicious, I have to tell you about it right away even though it's late in the night and I'm a little high from the wonderful company, the good food, the wine and a delicious bourbon Sidecar. Eat, drink and be merry with friends, right?
Sublime Food Lounge just opened three weeks ago and the food is absolutely delicious. Randall, the chef/owner, is a visual effects artist and cooking has always been his passion so after studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles and the French Culinary Institute in New York, we are now very lucky to have him in Culver City. His passion and drive is so inspiring and his food is divine; his food is so good, it defies a label - it's just good food! By the way, I don't think Randall sleeps. In addition to cooking and running his new restaurant with his partners, he's also keeping his production hours. Amazing.
My friends and I were excited and hungry so we dug into the food right away before I took any pictures (I also didn't have a proper camera with me and I do hate to keep people from food while I click away). Plus, my pictures won't do the food justice anyway so I'll try my best to be a wordsmith here.
We were sharing family-style so we started off with a few small plates:
- House-Roasted Nuts - Aside from the wine, this was a perfect starter to our meal.
- Crispy Confit Veal Riblettes - This was tender, moist, perfectly seasoned and had just the right amount of fat to give it a rich, buttery taste. Dipping it in a little Five-Spice Salt gave it a nice salty finish. I wish I could cook this at home.
- Foie Gras French Toast - Heavenly. Foie Gras is so good I just can't wax poetic on it much more. We were very smart to get two orders of this.
- Roasted Bone Marrow - A bit on the oily side but marrow lovers will like this especially with the roasted garlic on the side.
- Tuna Tartare - Another delicious dish and it was accompanied with a light fragrant lemon truffle oil.
Then we moved on to the large plates:
- 36 Hour Prime Short Rib - I think I was on Cloud 9 between bites of this medium-rare short rib and the yummy demi-glazed potato cake it came with. More! More! I want more!
- Braised Oxtail - I love oxtail in all forms - soup, stewed or braised. This was braised until tender and the meat soaked up all the rich, deep flavors. Those who are afraid to handle bones in public will be glad to know that this is served boneless. The meat is shredded and served on a bed of crispy polenta with chanterelles and a cauliflower puree.
- Seared Scallop - A perfect 10! This puts the scallops I attempt to cook at home to shame. You just can't beat huge fresh scallops seared to a degree where it is just cooked and springy to the touch instead of stiff and rubbery. This dish reminded me of the sparkling ocean on a brilliant Summer day. Again, I want more!
We were really full but there is always room for dessert:
- Caramel Popcorn Bread Pudding - Never turn down a bread pudding, especially this one.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli - The chocolate came wrapped inside a crispy skin, thus the "ravioli." Topped with bananas, this was a hit at the table.
- Framboise Martini Float - I loooove this one. White Chocolate Gelato floating on top of Belgian beer served in a martini glass. I'm already a fan of stout beer ice cream floats and this is another delicious discovery for me.
See this firepit? As we were leaving the restaurant, we stopped in the back to check out its covered patio. One look at the raised firepit and I was in love and we ended up staying for another two rounds of drinks. The owners built the firepit themselves and they plan to install a sound system to play music and project classic movies in the patio. Did I mention that they already have masters like Fellini and Kurosawa playing off a projector in the main dining room? Now you understand why I'm in love with this place like a giddy schoolgirl.
I don't remember the last time I went to a new restaurant where everything is a home run with the service, drinks, space, atmosphere and most importantly, the food. You can easily spend hours here enjoying drinks at the bar (in addition to cocktails and wine, they also have bottled beers and two beers on tap, a Belgian and local craft brew), food in the dining area and then migrating to the patio for more drinks. I spent 5 hours here tonight and I didn't even realize it!
I've found a new "home." I'm definitely going to be a regular at Sublime Food Lounge.
8631 Washington Street
Culver City, CA 90232
Open daily for dinner (dark on Mondays) and lunch service just began this week