Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Akasha @ Culver City

A few weeks ago, I happened to watch TLC's "Flip That Restaurant" featuring Culver City's newest eatery Akasha (pronounced Ah-KAH-sha). Of course being a TV show, they featured a roller coaster of technical difficulties in renovating the former San Gennaro site. Hours before the opening night party the telephone line wasn't connected, the kitchen had to be moved to a tent and someone had forgotten to build the server station (oy vey!). But wouldn't you know it, by the end of the day everything ran smoothly, the guests were smitten and the noted critic was raving.

Contrived, yes. But the show did pique my interest enough to drive the 5 blocks for dinner. The restaurant boasted tasty organic eats, and besides, I'd unchained Mikey from the basement that night and he was mighty thirsty.

The atmosphere was downtown chic, a warmly lit industrial space with farmhouse wood for walls (Part of owner Akasha Richmond's master plan for going green). On a Thursday night it was definitely the place to be, but don't believe it when you read online that they're booked two months in advanced. We walked in at 7 and sat down by 7:01.

The prices scared me. Entrees averaged $25 and starters were more than half that. I'm a simple girl who gets excited over a $5 noodle bowl. But if the food is tasty then 'nuff said, right?

We started with the Fisherman's Daughter Masala Shrimp. Mikey seemed enticed by the idea of having a piece of the fisherman's daughter. I was not. Maybe if it were the Fisherman's Son? The Spicegirl's Husband? Hmm...

The waitress brought over four nicely grilled pieces of shrimp accompanied by tomato chutney sauce, mint raita and some sort of sprout which ended up outlasting the shrimps. Tasty and well-thought out, but it left something to be desired. A few more shrimps, perhaps.

I had the Loch Duart salmon cooked South Indian style with oven roasted curried cauliflower, green beans and tamarind date chutney. Mikey had the Heritage Country pork chop with sambazon acai & honey sauce, white bean puree and braised greens. I write these words as if I'm an an organic food authority, but alas I simply copied the online menu. Loch Duart is a company located in the Scottish Highlands, according to Wikipedia. Heritage Country remains a mystery, unless the pork company doubles as a Massachusetts golf course.

Both were fresh, juicy and well-seasoned. I'd expect nothing less from anything flown in from halfway around the world. And Akasha certainly has a way with sauces. You're in a different country with every bite.

This is the "SALTY CHOCOLATE TART with big tree farms sea salt, caramel, pecans,
soy vanilla chantilly crème DOUGIE." I actually had this the night before without Mikey. Salty desserts are big in Japan right now so I wanted to try it. It's one of those acquired tastes. Kind of like Super Lemon candy.

All in all, I enjoyed trying downtown CC's newest addition. Personally, it didn't have the prized wow-factor, but it's still a nice restaurant with the added bonus of a cocktail bar and organic bakery. Believe me, Culver City gets more interesting by the minute.


9543 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
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Inland Empirical said...

Is that a cocktail?
I don't quite believe that you ordered and consumed something alcoholic. Maybe that just means we need to go out drinking more often.

The shrimps look great tho.

Pirikara said...

yes we do, IE!

winemaster007 said...

I had lunch at Akasha yesterday and was underwhelmed about the choices on the lunch menu which obvoiusly had nothing to do with the dinner menu.

If I wasn't having a salad with a bunch of wierd vegetables that I never eat, or some vegetarian meal, then the only choice was a 1/2 pound organic burger, gut bomb, that put me into a food coma for the rest of the afternoon. Unable to continue work, I went home for a nap. Poor me.

Boisterous and noisy is a sign of a successful retaurant and Akasha did succeed in all that.

You are correct that I walked in at 1:10 and was seated by 1:11 or less.

I will have to go back for dinner. I hope I can understand what I am eating. Maybe a translation dictionary would be helpful.