Welcome to Good News/Bad News on The Cannibal, where Eater gives a summary of the reviews from the meaty New York City-based concept that opened in the sleek new mixed-used development The Platform in Culver City. The restaurant suffered from a pretty rough LA Weekly review, but Jonathan Gold was more forgiving in his analysis of the carnivorous eatery. So what's the overall word?
Why doesn't it cure its own meat?
"At a time when so many kitchens are making their own charcuterie, Derby is sourcing a lot of his cured meats from Brooklyn and midtown Manhattan. The Cannibal is an easy place to dismiss." [LAT]
"For the most part, the Cannibal sources its charcuterie from New York producers such as Salumeria Biellese and Brooklyn-based Ends Meat, although you will find a nice array of country ham from states like Kentucky and Tennessee." [LAW]
The vegetable dishes aren't very exciting
"In the Culver City Cannibal, you will find riffs on the usual New York/L.A. small-plates tropes: grilled shishito peppers with ricotta, fried Brussels sprouts with fish sauce, snap peas with dill, and charred carrots served with their tops." [LAT]
"If you'd prefer to add vegetation to your meal, the menu lists 10 or so vegetarian dishes, most of which you have probably encountered at other restaurants. [...] For the most part these vegetables are fine — sometimes oversalted, as with the Brussels sprouts slicked with anchovy aioli, or sometimes too bland, as with a chilled squash and peach salad on special — but it is probably unreasonable to expect a restaurant with cuts of pig hanging from the rafters to blow you away with carrots." [LAW]
The chicken matcha mousse has mixed reviews
"The chicken liver mousse differs from the other versions you've seen this year basically in its creaminess, its granola garnish, and the forest-green tint imparted by whipping it with matcha tea." [LAT]
"With other dishes, the tweaks are too clever for their own good. Silky chicken liver mousse comes blended with matcha, which lends an odd, greenish hue yet fails to deliver the earthy, grassy flavors you might expect from the green tea powder. Unless it's St. Patrick's Day, why turn your liver green for no reason?" [LAW]
"A+: Chicken Matcha Mousse - so creamy, I like the roasted plum to add the sweetness to it." [Yelp]
"At this point our table was ready and we moved into the dining room proper. A matcha-infused mousse did a nice job playing the bitterness of the tea against the richness of the bird, all while plum added a hint of sweetness and the oats a welcomed crunch." [kevinEats]
But the beer selection is top notch
"If you are in the mood for beer, beer director Julian Kurland can take you to the outer limits and beyond, orchestrating an evening of saison-style ale that takes you from Alaska to Belgium to Oklahoma, including bottles of Prairie and Jester King that you have never seen outside their states of origin." [LAT]
"The Cannibal does...curatorial things exceedingly well. First is the killer beer selection, a wall of 200 or so bottles and cans stacked in a tall cooler near the entryway." [LAW]
"To imbibe, beer is very clearly the focus here. You get 12 beers on draught (in a "flux capacitor" setup, as pioneered by Beachwood) along with a hundred-plus in the bottle, all managed by Beer Director Julian Kurland. It's probably the largest beer list I've seen in Los Angeles, though at this point it comprises just the usual suspects." [kevinEats]