Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dim Sum Carts, Liquid Nitrogen, and Canned Cocktails at The Church Key

The Church Key brought the "dim sum cart" concept to Sunset Blvd, except instead of the classic grouchy dim sum ladies pushing their metal carts, the servers at Church Key are dressed in PanAm stewardess outfit pushing airline carts (one said PanAm while another cart said Delta). Various small plates, canned cocktails, and liquid nitrogen cocktail otter pops can be found on these carts.

Just like at dim sum, they stamp your card with the dishes or cocktail you received. Unlike Chinese dim sum, the restaurant is large, spacious, and sexy.
You won't find Chinese dim sum here, though. Instead, look for one of our favorite dishes of the night: Crispy pork belly, gojuchang glaze, cashew butter, radish, sesame ($14)
Word of warning: this was a bit spicy, but I love the crispiness! Everyone raved about the pig's ear cheetos but unfortunately I didn't get to try them as they were sold out.
I also liked the al dente Sunchoke agnolotti, Beaufort cheese, chanterelles, brown butter ($13)
Ahi tuna tartare, greek yogurt, pomegranate, cucumber, papadam ($16)
Bigger plates include the Tapioca crusted tai snapper, broccolini, white soy vinaigrette ($27) which was nicely cooked and flaky.
Now, on to the cocktails. The cocktail program here is headed by Devon Espinosa (previously of ink). There may be other canned cocktails that rotate, but you can always find a canned Negroni.
Canned Cocktail
The cocktail otter pops are frozen in liquid nitrogen to order. You can your server/stewardess for the current flavors. These are a bit sweet, but they're fun to try.
Other than those two served on carts, you should definitely order some of the cocktails on the menu, starting from Shot in the Dark (Dolin Blanc, Buffalo Trace, pineapple, absinthe rinse - $10)

I just can't resist ordering a chai cocktail when I see one, so I personally really enjoyed the Fashioned Chai (applejack brandy, Buffalo Trace bourbon, chai syrup, orange peel, $11)
Chai Fashioned
For a refreshing cocktail on crushed ice, try the Harlequin (Bonal, raspberry gomme, lime, $9), which is balanced and not as sweet as it looks.

Honestly, though, between the four of us that night we tried every drink on the menu and liked all of them.
For dessert, don't miss the Sticky Toffee Pudding (date cake, toffee, candied orange - $9)

The Church Key
8730 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 422-0073
Church Key on Urbanspoon


Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital