I was recently reamed for being a 100% shill, so here goes a meal that actually cost
rather a lot some money.
Let’s set the premise for the meal. Culina is repped by one of the most powerful PR firms in the country, Bullfrog and Baum. It’s entrance, off of Doheny, is marked by valets bringing Rolls & Royce and Maseratis, with BMWs casted to the side like lepers.Esquire magazine wrote a blog piece about the hostess at Culina. Not sure what that implies, except the FOH at Culina is worthy of fame & stardom. Of note: Ms. Aishah Jennett is also a singer (and an actress).
How does all this star power translate to food on the plate? A bit random, with a tasty side of people watching candy. The crudo bar, already attracting “A-listers”, doesn’t exude a sense of fish reverence, but the end product is interesting enough. The much-touted lobster sashimi is exactly as one’s imagination. At its best, the plate is a beautiful marriage of Italian coastal (which one, I don’t even know, someone ask the Italian-accented manager) dining traditional finding a new home in California. At it’s worst, the plate is just a bit less imaginative than the best of LA’s itamae.
The lamb was dandy, but not much more interesting than say, the lamb chops served at Le Petit Bistro for the last 16 years. To be frank, despite working on the last 240 words for 3 weeks, there just isn’t any superlative I can spare for the food. It’s rather edible, some may even say the crab lobster tagliette is good. Look around the dining room with the “celadon tables” and the Cal-Eco-chic decor and the patrons seems boisterous and satiated. Me? I’m just busy looking around.
In the wine room sits a rather large group that included some very well heeded small children. Quick math suggests they (the toddlers, not the adults) are having $40 Beverly Hills dinners. Walking into the “other” lounge space — without the band — and one may came upon some bat crazy Beverly Hill plastic surgery. It’s Wednesday night, and the chicks are dressed for the Spago Oscar’s party. And the men love it. Or the chicks think the men love it. It’s hard to judge because no one’s face actually carries real expressions. All this is happening around $16 cocktails. Sixteen dollars.
Despite Because of all that, Culina is just awesome. It’s not as annoying as dining on Rodeo, because it’s south of Wilsire. The near casual rooms begs for visits by non-locals. You will see the beweled ladies, you will see suited real estate brokers, but you’ll also see some gimps from Ventura. It’s all just too surreal.
Culina @ Four Seasons Beverly Hills