Jonathan Gold dropped his pre-holiday weekend review last Friday on Hatchet Hall, chef Brian Dunsmoor’s Culver City ode to Southern cuisine that opened in mid 2015. The LA Times critic notes that “the kitchen shows much more finesse now than it did a month after its opening,” and is turning out some pretty standout fare:
There are shrimp heads here, dredged in flour and fried crisp, and blackened curls of octopus tentacle with grilled radicchio and a lump of lemony mayonnaise. Chop steak comes as a beef tartare topped with fried oysters — I could swear I’ve seen a recipe from James Beard or somebody, although I can’t track it down at the moment — and it is both delicious and uniquely American. The braised mushrooms on fluffy spoonbread, kind of a Southern corn soufflé, would pass muster at any Charleston dinner party. [LAT]
However, the Goldster seems to be most enamored with what is left after the meal ends, calling the restaurant “one of the most formidable leftover producers this side of a kebab parlor, at least if you are powerless against vegetables.” J. Gold calls particular attention to a bowl of buttered cabbage that begins and ends his review. He concludes:
You too are going to order that transformative bowl of buttered cabbage. You too are going to lose track of it among the many dishes on your table. And you too may belatedly discover its glory, hiding in its box behind a leftover lamb shank the next morning. I kind of envy you that moment. [LAT]
The critic also recommends the Brussels sprouts with pecan vinaigrette, braised greens with country ham, mushroom-crusted pork chop, and cookie plate.