Wading In The Shallows at Muddy Leek
What does it mean when a new-ish Culver City restaurant's specials are more rewarding than it's menu offerings and signature dishes?
It could mean a few things--indecisive direction, political struggles between owner and chef, or just random luck. Nevertheless, that's what I came up with during a recent lunchtime visit to Muddy Leek, the sleek seasonally-inspired storefront ("Organic, Sustainable, From Scratch") just East of Helms by Chef Whitney Flood and co-owner Julie Retzlaff.
Off the day's blackboard, I shared a chicken tikka soup, gloriously rich, complex and hearty, studded with bits of white and dark meats and skin, a big bowl that I couldn't keep my lips away from. Another special, the garlic shrimp polenta offered a generous handful of tenderly cooked prawns in a sea of buttery polenta, simply perfected comfort for a cold grey day. I kept thinking, "Somebody's grandmother cooks like this." Mine, unfortunately, never did.
About the rest, there's no need to pour out the haterade. Dishes like these are where Flood should focus. Nuf sed.