Killer short ribs in a chocolate-stout mole, roasted brussel sprouts with chorizo and a $10 Spiced Orange martini are good enough reasons to head to the newly-opened Batch Restaurant & Bar on Washington Boulevard.
Located just a few blocks east of the Helm’s District in what has become home to Culver City’s up-and-coming arts scene, Batch officially opened its doors for dinner on Dec. 19.
General Manager James Couey, Mixologist Mat Gries (both alumni from Downtown's Church & State Bistro) and Executive Chef Salvador Roldan (formerly of Culver City's ) are the owners and visionaries behind Batch. Chef Roldan riffs on his Latino family recipes for some stand-out dishes and Gries makes use of house made syrups and infusions in his imaginative cocktails and "mocktails" ($6 without alcohol.)
The decor is sleek and comfortable, and a beautifully lit white carrara marble bar stretches the width of the restaurant. Floor to ceiling glass is softened by walls of warm wood paneling, and a massive honeycombed metal design turns the ceiling into a piece of art. Studio Pali Fekete Architects are credited with the restaurant's modern and comfortable design.
I will pretty much always order short ribs if I see them on a menu, especially if they've been bathed in something as luxurious as a beer-infused chocolate mole sauce, and Batch did not disappoint this beef lover in flavor or portion size ($26 for the short rib dish.) A simple bed of jasmine rice was just fine to lop up all that mole goodness, but I felt it was a missed opportunity to make it what I call "a destination dish" - one you crave and schedule into your life. However, the brussel sprouts with artisan chorizo ($8) were a perfect side as was the butter lettuce salad ($9). The roasted tomatoes underneath the salad were a nice surprise.
Appetizers on the menu included warm olives with gremolata ($8), sweet peppers and house ricotta bruschetta ($8) an octopus salad and confit garlic with baguette slices ($12) and salt and pepper chicken wings with Sriracha ($6). There's also a selection of pizzas that run around $11 including lamb meatball, fontina, fennel with bacon, leek and onion and a four cheese pizza with oregano and Roma tomatoes.
Our cocktails were delicious and good value at $10. We had the Spiced Orange and the Sage Advice (gin, sage leaves, Cointreau, lime juice and orange bitters). Also noteworthy is the Drunken Sow, a bacon/cinnamon-infused scotch bourbon blend, which our server highly recommended.
The restaurant currently seats about 30 and an outdoor enclosed patio for an additional 50 guests is close to completion. There is also ample street parking. For private parties there's a separate dining room that can accomodate 12 people. There are also plans to open for lunch in the coming months.
Batch is an exciting addition to this stretch of Washington Boulevard. It's friendly, hip and a great place to unwind and grab a sophisticated bite. I will certainly be checking back in.
Batch Restaurant & Bar: 8631 Washington Boulevard, Culver City 90232
Hours: Mon - Thurs 5 - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat - 5 p.m. - midnight
Susan Silverberg spends her days at the Los Angeles Times food section test kitchen testing recipes for readers and blogs at www.thehomeartist.wordpress.com