Restaurant: AR Cucina
Location: 9531 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232. (310) 558-8800
Date: October 21, 2016
Rating: Solid, particularly for a non Italian chef
Not long ago I tried out Sambar, a modern Indian in Culver City. Well, it turns out it wasn’t competing with the old school Indians out on Venice Blvd, and so the group rebooted it with the same chef as an Italian!
The decor has barely changed. They took off the starburst pattern on the wall, added some mirrors, and painted an Italian scene.
Cacio E Pepe pane di casa. Somehow when I ordered this I imagined a pizza. Instead we got this bread which was… well covered in cheese and pepper. It did taste kinda like Cacio e pepe. And the read had great texture. It was salty too. I probably would have preferred something with melted cheese though.
Burrata Mozzarella. tomato-almond pesto, Sicilian sundred tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, ciabatta. More bread. The tomato/pesto was excellent though. Lots of acid. Not for those with reflux. But excellent rustic dish.
Chicken Meatballs. Nonna Giovanna’s tomato sauce. Pecorino cheese, ciabatta. More bread and even more hearty tomato sauce. Nice meatballs actually. Moist for chicken. Great sauce. Similar to above, but good.
Tricolore salad. Arugula, radicchio, escarole, parmigiano-reggiano, pistachio-pesto & lemon dressing.
Bucatini all’amatriciana. La quercia guanciale, tomato, pecorino. Solid version of this traditional dish. Also lots of pecorino and tomato — but it is supposed to be like that. I would up the guanciale factor if I was in the kitchen, but otherwise very nice.
Overall, and this was a quick little lunch, AR Cucina offered some solid rustic, slightly Southern, Italian. It’s not the most radical menu at all, sort of like a petite Bestia, or a lightweight modernized greatest hits of Central and South Italy — meaty hits, as there is almost no seafood. My new restaurant is just down the street, so I’ll be back to try more. They supposedly have a great Lasagna.