Big changes are taking place at The Churchill in West Hollywood. Chef Bruce Kalman (formerly of The Misfit, Urbano Pizza Bar) is taking over the kitchen, and Mia Sarazen (Harvard and Stone, Black Market) has created a whole new cocktail menu ($12 each).
It's only been a couple of months, but The Churchill Old Fashioned (Old Fitzgerald Bourbon, house bitters, sugar) has already been touted as the city's best.
The charcuterie section features plenty of housemade products including pancetta, duck prosciutto, coppa picante. The cheese selection is small but excellent. Try the Hopscotch cheddar from Fiscalini in Modesto or Glacier goat cheese from Drake Farms in Ontario.
The warm Gougeres with gruyere and garlic chives ($6) are dangerously addictive, I couldn't stop popping one in my mouth.
If you prefer sweeter cocktails, try The Grapes of Wrath (Kappa pisco, lime, pineapple, egg white, bitters, cinnamon), a nice riff on the pisco sour.
There's also the drink named after fellow blogger Thirsty In LA. Story was when Mia was working the grand opening party at Neat Bar, some of the stocks didn't come in and making do with what they had, Mia came up with Negroni variation using Corralejo reposado, Aperol, Ciociaro Amaro, mescal rinse.
Back to the food. Make sure you get the Casserole of Duck Confit with sausage, house bacon, and beans ($21). I know where I need to go when it's cold out now. This hearty dish will be perfect.
For a taste of fall, try the Okinawan sweet potato gnocchi with butternut squash, forest mushrooms, pecorino ($14)
We were already stuffed but Chef Kalman brought out his 10 Hour Beef Short Rib with braised carrots and apples ($20). He said we had to try, and indeed we did! The short rib was amazingly tender. I know we've seen our share of short ribs on the menu and some of us have begun to glaze over it, but I'm glad he brought this out for us to try.
The Churchill was already a happening place, but the exciting changes behind the bar and the kitchen just brought this restaurant to the spotlight for the area. There are few good cocktail bars in this part of West Hollywood and Mia's new menu may be topping the list. Same with the food. Chef Kalman's inventive takes on comfort dishes for the Fall menu are a taste for what you should be excited about for the seasons to come.
8384 W. 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048