Culver City's metro-adjacent Platform complex has a new meat-centric restaurant, The Cannibal, with an equally solid selection of interesting vegetable dishes and a vast collection of beer.
I experienced an exciting first when I made my inaugural visit to the new Culver City restaurant, The Cannibal. In fact, it was a first for any restaurant dining experience in Los Angeles. I took the metro from my home to the restaurant. When I was living in Paris, taking the metro to dinner was standard behavior, as it is in most metropolitan cities. But in LA, we're a little slow in the public transportation department. Luckily it's never too late to try.
Cannibal Beer and Butcher sits on Washington Boulevard, in the newly developed Culver City Platform complex. It's directly across the street from the Culver City Metro Expo stop. In fact, if you continue to the La Cienega stop, coming from the beach, you'll get a great view of the whole complex, as my friend and I mistakenly did. Know your stop!
There's a nice outdoor patio at The Cannibal if you want to dine al fresco, and watch the metro do its thing. Inside it's bustling and boisterous. No, actually, it's downright loud. There's great energy in the wood-filled room with expansive bars and open kitchen, but if you're here for a romantic dinner, definitely sit outside so you have a chance of hearing your date.
The beer menu is extensive. In fact, the name Cannibal doesn't come from where you think it might at this meat-heavy restaurant. Cannibal was the nickname for Eddy Merckx, five time Tour de France winner. The owners are big cyclists so they're honoring Eddy with the name, and they also offer deals and specials for fellow bikers.
There's a collection of beer on tap, using a range of different pressure systems so that each brew is served at its peak. There's a selection of wine and also a nice cocktail menu. Phillipe's Fire is a refreshing blend of smoky El Silencio mezcal, aperol, grapefruit, jalapeno and citrus that I can see sipping on the patio for most of an afternoon. Luckily there's metro to take me home!
The dinner menu has meat in a lot of forms - raw, cured, smoked and grilled. They get most of their cured meat from NY, which is a little odd for a town where many chefs cure their own, but it's all good, along with some homemade terrines and pate. It was actually pretty easy to eat gluten free and dairy free at Cannibal. We got the lamb tartare that was spiked with charred leek and green apple, and is normally served with goat cheese, but they omited it for me, and served it on the side for my friend. You won't miss a thing if you don't eat the cheese with this velvety dish.
Surprisingly, Cannibal pays as much attention to vegetables as they do meat. They have nearly a dozen different veggie dishes that include seasonal creations ranging from roasted beets in avocado pesto to a unique combo of squash and peaches. The squash was tossed in a lovage, pine nut and scallion pesto, making for a well balanced, and delicious side.
Roasted cauliflower has the perfect bite with a spicy kick of calabrian chili and basil.
The grilled hanger steak was truly memorable for its melt in your mouth texture and fabulous plate accompaniments. A slightly sweet carrot walnut romesco was the perfect sauce to run the steak through, and it's topped with charred radicchio and pickled red onion. I woke up the next day, thinking about that dish.
The Cannibal also has a butcher shop where you can buy meats and prepared food to go. I look forward to returning to The Cannibal on the convenient LA Metro Expo line, and exploring more of the meat and veggie focused menu.
The Cannibal LA
8850 Washington Boulevard, Culver City