Muddy Leak takes over a space in Culver City that seems like it just might be forever doomed. Starting with Wilson many moons ago The Monster can think of five different iterations that have graced this address. And each seems to have come and gone faster than the last.
A new American that takes over the indoor/outdoor corner on Washington Boulevard, The Monster goes in with the best of hopes for a great meal and a restaurant that will end the curse of 8631…
What he finds is friendly if a bit disorganized service. A menu that sounds good on the page but is hit or miss in execution. A feeling that things must improve or he’ll be writing about this space again.
There is the requisite pickle plate which is fine but doesn’t totally win over this pickle aficionado. Of course Brussels sprouts make an appearance and they are good, hard to mess them up, really. A crab and harissa dish doesn’t wow a guy who lives for crab. Love, love, love duck hash and this version is good, not great. And the fish dish proves nice, not amazing.
So what you ultimately have is a place that does a lot of things well enough but nothing in a truly spectacular fashion.
Yes it is great that they trumpet sustainable, organic and items from scratch. But that is de rigueur in today’s crowded restaurant field.
All that being said, The Monster is rooting for Muddy Leek. The new menus seem to refine the concept and the space is still attractive. Given the friendly service and small plates/share concept (we’ll never see the end of this) perhaps ML can find its footing and not be another ghost to haunt this room.
Why go? You don’t believe in ghosts.
Monster rating: 2½/5 Monsters
8631 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232