Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Corner Door - Dine LA Style

Last night I had such a good dinner. At such a good deal. DineLA, which runs in the summer from July 15th thru July 26th, gives us an opportunity to try a whole bunch of restaurants at a discounted rate. Good restaurants. So last night, a few friends and I met in Culver City at a place called The Corner Door on Washington Boulevard, but away from all the hullabaloo.

I LOVED the interior of this restaurant. It was so chic and mellow. And I know - it looks empty. But I was there very early as my friends and I had a class to get to afterwards. I mean like blueplate early - 5:45. Trust me, I'm okay to get some place early and be all old-person-ish when good food is involved.

My friends were all running a tad late. I on the other hand was (as I always am) on the dot if not a few minutes before. So while waiting, I sucked down this amazing mocktail they made for me.

A delicious Mojito Mocktail
I would have had twenty but it was 8 bucks, so I just stayed with this little guy. So freakin good though! Fresh mint, that tangy twangy taste -- this baby kicked ass.

When my friends arrived we could all choose two items from the DINELA MENU for $25 per person (plus 1 dessert choice) so we speedily made some tough choices. Some of my pictures really weren't good. Therefore, I'll have to describe the majority of our plates.

Oh, and by the way, while waiting for the food to arrive, we got an appetizer of FABULOUS crispy chick peas and almonds off the Happy Hour menu. It's a dish I highly recommend. I think it was unfair of me to ask my friends and I to split this one three ways because I think I ate the whole thing.

Anyway, for entrees we started with a salmon crudo which in truth was a tad bland and maybe the only perfectly-fine-but-nothing-to-write-home-about part of the meal. Next were brussel sprouts, both roasted and fried, mixed with feta. They were lush, succulent, rich and outrageously addictive. In came a golden brown grilled cheese made with pecorino, wasabi arugula and peaches -- the peaches were lovely and totally strange - in a good way. Their version of Burrata came pretty dressed up with lemon, warmed cherries, peas, and hints of tarragon. It was comfort food but light. Perfect for a summer night.

Burrata at The Corner Door
We had a bowl of meatballs - it was generous (as were all the portion sizes), mellow and tasty. You can see I'm not fully endorsing it. It's not because they weren't good. It's because I think I was having a mild food blackout at the time. I had sort of passed my limit and thought the meal was done. What I didn't realize is I wasn't doing the math. We had ordered one more thing.

Now if I was a skinny model-type, I wouldn't have even cared when they brought the last entree because I would've known I was just done and I couldn't have another bite. Not me! I'm so thin and exhausted from eating. So sorry.

Perfectly cooked steak at The Corner Door**
I'm not a skinny model-type. And suddenly in front of me was a thing of beauty. It was a perfectly cooked and seasoned grilled flank steak. That powdery stuff you see on the board? That's Toasted Pastrami Spice. What? Right. I don't know what the hell that is. I will tell you it's yummy; A flavorful dust you can coat your steak with, which I did. And even though it tasted good it wasn't necessary because the steak was so wonderful without it. And that stuff that looks like yellow Hershey kisses on the side? Corn Puree - MWAH. Loved that sweet, corn taste with the asparagus and the steak. Honestly, I would go back to this restaurant for that dish alone.

The desserts? A blur. I got a homemade coffee ice cream. It tasted good but not creamy enough. Still the flavor-- that hit the spot. I mean I felt grounds in there. Might sound unappetizing perhaps but if you're a coffee lover it also might sound great, authentic, real. One friend got the dish they called Milk & Cookies. That was a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies - again they were very generous with the amount -- and condensed milk ice cream, which was far creamier than mine. And kind of luscious. The last dessert - that was the fancy dancy foodie dessert. Check out this attractively plated situation below:

This is called Chocolate Paloma. What a lucky girl Paloma is. Dark chocolate, Tequila Sorbet (that white stuff around it is flaky sea salt, because you gotta have salt with Tequila, right?) and fizzy grapefruit. I wasn't able to try that. I was too busy unbuttoning my pants.

A lot of these dishes are on the regular MENU. And I also want to mention I loved the servers at Corner Door. They were really on it and professional. And something else. By the time us blue hairs left, the place was hoppin. It wasn't nearly like when I arrived:

But you can see just how pretty and warm the place is. So if you're in Culver City and have a hankering for some steak and pastrami dust, swing by. It's worth it.

Dine LA is just through July 26th. Go to their website to find restaurants participating in this summer's Restaurant Week: DINELA WEBSITE. If you can eat dinner early, your chances of getting into the more hoighty toighty places are better.

The Corner Door is located at 12477 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90066.  It's open Sundays through Wednesdays, 5pm - 12am. Thursdays through Saturdays, 5pm - 2am. And Happy Hour is every day from 5-7pm. On Sundays they have a special Burger Night where you can get their weekly burger, fries & beer for 15 bucks. Metered parking is available on Washington. There's also plenty of side-street parking.


**For DineLA, the steak has a supplemental charge of $9.

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