There's a New Charcuterie Sheriff in Town. Waterloo & City Gastropub. Culver City, CA.
Fit for a king! Waterloo & City's "King" charcuterie slab.
Offal is such an awful word. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the official word on the word offal is that it has its beginnings in late 14th century and means waste parts, refuse, from off + fall; the notion being that which falls off the butcher's block; perhaps a translation of Middle Dutch afval. So the term was never meant to be a compliment.
It is by the grace of the meat gods that the serfdom of yore who received these outcast organs were able to, through centuries of trial and error, cobble together something that wasn’t simply edible but also absolutely delicious.
Many of these offal concoctions fall into the cooking category of charcuterie which include galantines, pâtés, rillettes, sausages, terrines and anything else that is derived of meat, guts and miscellany and preserved in some fashion.
I’ll put the alert out right now: There's a new charcuterie sheriff in town and his name is Brendan Collins. Chef Collins does magical stuff with all the funky parts from ducks, pigs, rabbits, cows and other tasty critters you can mimic on Old MacDonald’s farm.
Chef Collins' pedigree in fine dining is stellar (Melisse, Anisette & Palihouse), but at his newest spot, Waterloo & City in Culver City, where he’s also a co-owner along with General Manager Carolos Tomazos (Per Se, Le Bernardin), he unleashes his passion for nose to tail cooking and showcases all his sharp charcuterie skills at, perhaps, the best gastropub in town.
The Pig Trotters, Sweetbreads, Salsa Verde terrine is a food fantasy come true. I can’t even say the words without drooling on myself like an inbred bulldog. The praise for this most perfect of terrines isn’t solely in its supreme savoriness but equally for its playground of textures. It is mouthfeel Shangri-la as your tongue explores the chewy band of country ham that embraces gelatinous bits of pig trotters enmeshed in unctuous sweetbreads, crowned with brined anchovy and salsa verde. Crap! I just drooled all over myself again.
Sweetbreads + trotter = my kind of fodder.
The Pig Trotter, Sweetbreads terrine is only one of many toothsome examples of the kind of charcuterie Chef Brendan Collins is capable of creating. I have a strong feeling in the pit of my offal that Chef Collins is just getting warmed up and has many other amazingly offal items coming soon to the brilliant Waterloo & City gastropub. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Sign of good taste!
For an even more offal and in-depth review of Waterloo & City, please play the slideshow podcast of my gastropub-tastic meal. Thanks!
Waterloo & City Gastropub
12517 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90066