Monday, April 30, 2012

Akasha (Culver City)

StarStarStarStar½




Signage.



After reviewing the cocktail menu, I decided to check out the beer menu.  I've been to Akasha before and while the drinks are good, they're not craft-cocktail-bar good.  So when I see similar prices, I'll pass if I see a beer I'd rather try.


  
One that I found and thoroughly enjoyed was the CoConut Porter from Maui Brewing Co.  



Lilly's Domaine Gouron Chinon (Cabernet Franc), Loire Valley, France, 2009 & my CoConut Porter.



 I apologize to my fellow eating companions for my small plates loving ways but I really dig trying as much as I [reasonably] can from the menu to get a good feel for what the kitchen can churn out.  So if we both order an entree and we split an appetizer, well I'll still feel like I didn't try enough.  And what if you don't like the entree as much as you thought you would have.  You're stuck or you are out that much more money if you order another dish.  With small plates, you can afford to miss but more times than not, you won't and it's a lot more fun in my opinion.



We started with the Artichoke Frites.  Both of us love artichokes and I especially love deep fried treats, so this was an obvious choice for me.  A squeeze of lemon over the top and a beer to go with it and I was good.


  
My favorite plate, however, was the ribs n green papaya salad combo.  As much as I always like to try new things, if I return and this is still on the menu, I'm ordering it again.



Their beer list.



I'm a fan of Victory Brewing Company so I decided to try one of their beers.



I went with the Golden Monkey.  As much as I liked the porter this was a much better pairing with the food we ate.  I don't usually go with pairing as much as I go for what I like.  Anyway, this was a "festive" beer.  It was acting like a glass of champagne with bubbles dancing around in there.  I've never witnessed a beer do that quite as much as I did with this one and it wasn't overly carbonated either.


 
So now that I had another beer in hand, time for pizza...err flatbread.



On our last visit, we tried the Fig & Prosciutto flatbread and although we liked it, because we like to try new things, we decided to try the Braised Wild Mushroom flatbread.  It was okay but we both agreed that the Fig/Prosciutto one was better.


  
Because we had already eaten 4 out of the 6 small plates that they offer and we didn't feel like trying the other 2 options, we decided to keep the ball rollin' with the "Sides" portion of the menu.  That's just how we roll!


 
 A simple yet tasty side of baby broccoli.  I swear, when people say they don't like vegetables, it's got to be because they've had them prepared in very mundane ways.  Looking back at our meal, only 1 dish contained meat.  And this wasn't a conscious decision either - we just went with what looked most appetizing.  Yet, we both felt satiated at the end and neither of us felt like we practically had a vegetarian meal.    



Over on the Food Network, these Onion Rings were featured on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Crunchy."  While I can't say that these are the best crunchiest things I've ever plopped into my mouth, I can say that these are the best onion rings I've had.  The breading is just right, not very oily, crispy and the clincher for me is, when you bite into them you don't have the onion separate from the breading, leaving you a long strand of un-coated onion.        



Chocolate Hemp Ice Cream anyone?



The open kitchen.



The restaurant's exterior.



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