Several years after opening in Culver City, The Wallace is still going strong serving seasonal, sustainable fare. The menu has a heavy emphasis on vegetables with a few other unique twists from land and sea.
It's hard to remember when Culver City just housed Sony Studios. Now there's a thriving downtown area with bars and restaurants popping up every time you sneeze. Unfortunately there's a lot of sneezing and turnover lately. I was sad to see Lyfe Kitchen, Sambar and East Borough all close, but happy to see The Wallace still going strong after three years.
I visited The Wallace right when they opened and remember really liking my meal, but somehow never made it back until just recently. The crowds are still there, as well as the exposed light fixtures, distressed wood tables and small plate menu.
The craft cocktail menu is as strong as ever with interesting selections like "Morning Sex" with bourbon, passion fruit, chai, lemon and bitters. I've become increasingly seduced by anything with mezcal so was beyond thrilled with the "Acapulco Gold" with ancho reyes, cilantro, lime and the smoky mezcal. One of my friends became a mezcal convert after her first sip!
The menu has four sections from which to choose - jarred, vegetable, sea and land. I love a good vegetable section and The Wallace doesn't disappoint with its fresh produce. There's sprouting broccoli with romesco, roasted sunchokes with beets and deliciously curry spiced heirloom carrots with black garlic labneh.
If gluten is in your repertoire, you might like the wild mushroom toast - a warm mix of earthy flavors, brightened with a balsamic glaze.
We hit the sea section pretty hard with three different selections, starting with softly boiled tiger prawns that were spiced with old bay and punched up further with creamy cognac grits. Delicate and flavorful.
Roasted scallops were cooked to perfection and sitting in a pool of a pea bacon vinaigrette. This had an earthier flavor that balanced out the other dishes.
Our seafood dessert was one of my mainstays - grilled octopus. I always have to try the octopus, and lately, everywhere I go, they serve octopus. The Wallace's octopus had a great, savory spice to it with a smoky vadouvan, salsa negra and look who else showed up, mezcal. So I had to like it, and I did.
On my first visit to the Wallace, back when I used to eat bread and cheese (ah bread and cheese, I miss you!), I enjoyed the duck rillettes from their "jarred" section. Many people also appear to enjoy it as the rillettes are still on the menu - one of the few carryovers from the years.
There used to be a "cured" section with cheese and meat, and a salmon belly that I enjoyed. It was beautifully arranged with a great combination of cucumber, beets and crisp, dark pumpernickel.
Seeing as The Wallace has already survived over 3 years in Culver City, I look forward to revisiting again, sooner rather than later, to see what's new on the menu.
3833 Main Street, Culver City