The plan was to see Bottle Shock then try one of the new restaurants in Culver City. The day after making arrangements, I received a nice email from Citysearch extolling the virtues of the new Brunello. Plus, our friend who was joining us is generally predisposed to Italian so the fates were lined up for us.
When we got to the theater and were told the movie (and the entire theater) were “broken” we should have taken that as a sign.
The folks at Brunello graciously let us dine 2 hours before our reservation time. My first concern was the wine list did not have very many interesting by the glass options. I wanted an Italian white and I could only choose from a few Pinot Grigios and (both Italian and Cali) Chard. With all the interesting varietals coming out of Italy these days, I was hoping for other options.
We had brought a bottle of red with us ($10 corkage) so it became a non-issue pretty quickly.
Starters included a Caesar Salad, Carpaccio, and Margerita pizza with added Prosciutto.
Mains were a Squid Ink pasta with calamari on special, a meat lasagna, and a chicken breast with pasta. We shared an order of sautéed spinach family style.
All in all, not a lot to say. Location is over a mile from the “action” in downtown culver. The restaurant decor is a bit non-descript, but not objectionable. Service was warm, patient, and friendly.
The food? IMHO, unremarkable. When I ordered the chicken, I asked if their pasta was homemade, and they were honest in their response and said only the fettuccine. I got this instead of potatoes with my chicken dish and it did have nice texture and flavor.
The positives: The marinara that was both on the pizza and my pasta was quite good and deeply flavored. Our friend also seemed to really enjoy his lasagna.
The negatives: The carpaccio was sliced so thin it had to be scraped off the plate with a spoon. It lacked flavor of any kind. My chicken breast was dry and somewhat tasteless. The squid ink pasta was described by my husband as “nothing to write home about. Texture and flavor a bit off. It didn’t taste like squid ink pasta.”
All in all, I expected much better and was disappointed.Brunello Tratoria
6001 Washington Blvd