A delicious new made-from-scratch eatery has planted its seed in the Helm’s Bakery district of Culver City and is serving up the brightest of Los Angeles’ micro-seasonal provisions. From celebrated culinary couple, Whitney Flood and Julie Retzlaff of Bon Mélange Catering, Muddy Leek heralds a farm fare approach, aspiring to reclaim the back-to-basics ideals of the Helms community.
Born from years of entertaining experience and a series of underground dinners, Muddy Leek is the pair’s first independent brick-n-mortar restaurant. As Chef and proprietor of Muddy Leek, Whitney Flood channels his love for seasonal and sustainable dining on a daily basis. Leaving behind a successful catering career in New York, Flood returned to the micro-seasonal ingredients of the West Coast, starting Bon Mélange Catering in 2006 with his wife Julie Retzlaff. Based in Los Angeles, the husband-wife duo extraordinaire combined their strengths and skills to create artisanal, market-inspired, farm-to-table fare for events ranging from weddings to underground pop-up dinners in LA’s well-established urban art scene. Muddy Leek follows the natural progression of the couple’s story.
“We’re thrilled to finally have a permanent space to share our food and our love of entertaining,” say Flood and Retzlaff. “With Bon Mélange, the concept of Muddy Leek has been many years in the making and we’re excited to join the vibrant scene of Culver City. The location is the perfect fit for us – we wanted a home that was first and foremost a neighborhood, but also a dining and cultural destination.”
Making everything from scratch and in-house, Muddy Leek’s menu focuses on fine artisanal and locally sourced ingredients. Dishes are an eclectic array, balancing notes of international flair and home style comfort. Rendezvous for lunch with the Muddy Leek signature Porcini & Leek Tart with Spinach and Black Truffle or the Merguez “Hot Dog” with house-made Garlic Aioli on a Grilled Baguette and a sumptuous side of Roasted Root Vegetable “Fries.” For dinner, start off with Spicy Chicken Jjigae Soup with Kimchi & Poached Egg, Rabbit-Pistachio Ballontine with Orange Braised Fennel and Micro Peppercress, or Chicken Fried Bacon in a lettuce cup with Tomato Chutney. Entrees include Juniper-Venison with Foraged Mushrooms, Braised Bacon and Sweet Potato Hash and Paso Prime Flat Iron Steak with Grilled Celeriac & Short Rib Ravioli with New Zealand Spinach and Caper Brown Butter. The gourmet desserts at Muddy Leek boast unique touches such as the Caramelized Apple-Cinnamon Tart with Sheep’s Milk Ice Cream and Chocolate Mint and a Pot Au Crème with Cardamom -, Orange Cookie Coconut Crumble, and Rose Essence.
Applying the same farm-to-table spirit found in Muddy Leek’s food, Bar Manager John Coltharp creates signature hand-crafted cocktails using house-made bitters and micro-seasonal ingredients. Coltharp brings a true passion for reinventing classic cocktails by weaving together ingredients that recall the warm hospitality found throughout the ambiance of Muddy Leek.
Situated at the base of a modern jewel box in the Helm’s Bakery district of Culver City, Muddy Leek is a simple space, with customized flourishes and an airy, artistic setting that complements the laid-back vibe of its gracious owners. Divided into three dining areas – the main room, bar, and patio – Muddy Leek brings a sophisticated simplicity that blends seamlessly with the local artistic community. Unique artwork and repurposed designs enhance the hard lines of the space and shed light on the owners’ personal aesthetics.
Muddy Leek is located at 8631 Washington Blvd. Service will run nightly Wednesday through Saturday, 6:00pm to 10:00pm, with lunch service Monday through Friday, 11:00am to 3:00pm, and happy hour Wednesday through Friday, 4:00pm to 6:00pm. For more information, please visit http://www.bonmelangecatering.com/muddyleek or call 310.838.2281.