Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lunching at Le Saint Amour (Culver City)

Le Saint Amour has been a bloggers' favorite ever since Chef Walter Manzke started consulting for this Culver City bistro. While I have yet been lucky enough to dine while he's in the kitchen, I was recently invited for lunch. It was a nice day so we sat on the patio, overlooking the beautiful city hall.

I had to order the Duck Confit Salad ($14) since duck confit and cherries sounded too good to pass up. Don't order this expecting a light lunch though. The duck confit salad at Petrossian comes with shredded duck confit integrated into the salad, but here the "salad" comes with an entire crispy duck leg along with arugula, cherries and hazelnut vinaigrette on the side.

Duck Confit Salad
They rotate around the fruit in this duck confit salad, and the PR rep accompanying me said previously they only used dried cherries. When I had it, the salad has both dried and fresh cherries, which I loved and balanced the bitterness of the arugula. The duck confit itself was well cooked: crisped skin and juicy, gamey flesh. The salad counters the richness nicely.

I only had a bite, but did enjoy the Croque Madame ($13) made with French ham, gruyere, bechamel, fried egg
Croque Madame

One of Le Saint Amour's co-owners/chef, Bruno, makes his own charcuterie: rillettes, pate, and terrines. We shared a plate of Pork Rillette, Venison Galantine with Pistachios, Country Pate, Persille in gelatin.
The pork rillette is definitely my favorite, with its melt-in-your-mouth richness, but I also enjoyed the novelty of the venison with pistachios.
They serve a nice bread made by Bread Lounge, a bread artisan in downtown LA.

Because I needed a pick-me-up, for dessert I ordered the Cafe Liégeois, made with vanilla ice cream, espresso, chantilly cream, chocolate ($8)
Cafe Liegois
Like an affogato on steroids? The cream and chocolate made this a rich and heavy dessert. Nothing wrong with chocolate and ice cream, but in terms of an afternoon pick-me-up, food coma wins over the caffeine here.

I still need to come for dinner when Walter Manzke is manning the kitchen (I hear it's on Friday nights), as I've heard it would be one mind-blowing experience, but if my lunch was any indication, Le Saint Amour is still a solid dining destination even when he's out.


Le Saint Amour
9725 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 842-8155
Le Saint Amour on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was hosted.


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