The Corner Door’s interior transformation was a successful addition to Culver City’s dining and bar scene, with longtime barman Beau du Bois continuing to produce his innovative take on cocktails in the diminutive neighborhood restaurant. With Umbrella Hospitality’s installing their own touch, they’ve brought on chef Chris Martinez (Citizen Beverly Hills) to work with du Bois on a new Alice in Wonderland-inspired menu. The new drinks and dishes launch tonight, with service until late night seven days a week.
While the food still hews closely to the American gastropub format, with things like chicharrones, oysters, burger, and skirt steak, the physical menu does get a beautifully illustrated look with everything to a Queen of Hearts and tiger lilies adorning its pages. Martinez’s new bill of fare touts clam pasta with bottarga, grilled cauliflower, and seared diver scallops that ought to please a crowd.
Lewis Carroll’s classic books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass more overtly influence the drinks, with cocktails dubbed “Bunch of Time,” “Tiger Lily”, “Snowdrop,” and “Afternoon Beheading,” the latter a reference to the Queen of Hearts. Of course there’s a Drink Me cocktail, which is du Bois’s take on a whiskey milk punch that takes three days to make. It’s a tangy but oddly rich libation with an almost buttery mouthfeel. Meanwhile the Mushroom Valley comes with a smokey presentation, and comes with snacks of edible dirt and adorable meringue mushrooms.
The Corner Door has grappled with a mostly solid gastropub menu and standout drinks from du Bois for most of its existence, but with an infusion of a sweet vintage interior and creativity from Umbrella Hospitality, the newest version seems to be the most ambitious, both from a cocktail and food point of view.
According to du Bois, it’s been an adjustment for the neighborhood restaurant but they’re hoping the effect is able to draw imbibers and diners from Venice and Marina del Rey, and even more inland. The Alice in Wonderland menus likely won’t last forever, perhaps about six months depending on how popular it is. After that, they’ll go back to the drawing board for another theme menu. In the past, du Bois has rolled out Stephen King and Goonies-inspired cocktail lists.