Friday, February 01, 2008

Special Foodventure #49: DineLA lunch at Ford's Filling Station

Finally, DineLA Restaurant Week . . . first stop, Ford's Filling Station - A modern, fusion-ish American joint in the heart of re-vitalized Culver City (also known for hotspots such as Fraiche and Beacon, the latter of which I'll also be visiting during the DineLA weeks). And a $22 three-course lunch sounds like a good deal (especially when their restaurant menu doesn't list prices - always a budgetary warning sign - and when compared to the likes of their other events, such as the gastropub lecture & dinner costing $75/person). So off we embarked.

FFS' environs were pretty inviting: a mix between swank bachelor loft and a country cabin. Warm and inviting enough for a meal with friends and with enough hip factor for a date too.

Anyways, we wasted no time ordering - and here's what we got for our twenty-two bones.
Clam Chowder with Manila Clams, Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes, Bacon in a Creamy Leek Broth - very rich and, as you can see, chock full of the good stuff... no little, limp, rubbery pieces of mollusks here. A good and filling soup (would've been OMG amazing if it wasn't served lukewarm). It was here that service also started to falter, the five of us received our appetizers in 15 minute increments, so my friend and I started on our lukewarm soups -- not knowing it'd take another half hour before the last guy of our table is served his first course.

Onto our entrees:
Flatbread Sandwich with Porchetta, Caramelized Onion and Fontina cheese with a side of mixed greens - Again, a solid but not-that-impressive dish. I enjoyed the crispy texture of the flatbread against the juicy, flavorful pork - but after a few bites I deemed the whole combination too greasy. The pork was very well marbled, add to the cheese and the oily-upped onions equaled a pretty queasy experience. The zippy salad with its vinaigrette dressing was kind of able to cut into the fat, but I still couldn't bring myself to finish the sandwich.

And finally, the dessert:
Vanilla Bean Cremé Brulee Smooth, velvety deliciousness with a perfectly burnt caramel top! Not too sweet (which happens all too frequently with creme brulees in my experience) and I could see actual vanilla beans, always a plus.

All in all, a slightly-above-OK experience. The food has the potential to be good but not quite there yet, and the service can definitely use some improvement (I observed a few neighboring tables where the serving timing looked off as well.) But I'm glad I gave it a try and at a discount.

Ford's Filling Station
9531 Culver Blvd.
Culver City


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the service. I was surprised (after the initial ~20 minute wait) that they served our party of six so efficiently, actually.

Khoi said...

Wow, randomly stumbled upon this entry. I remember being there for this! Didn't have the clam chowder, but I remember the delayed service and your reaction to the lukewarm dish, ha.


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