True Blood. Waterloo & City's Blood Cake. Waterloo & City Gastropub. Culver City, CA.
Blood Cake: A Vampire's Dessert.
Blood. Sometimes I need it so badly, it's unbearable. Like certain people's lust for a cigarette or some smack. Or like a junkie vampire, too close to sweet virgin vein, suffering the shakes and sweats.
This craving mumbles to itself in my skull over and over again like a crazy homeless man until sated. Normally, it's only a taste I need. Just a little taste, then I'm good...for a while. But, when I'm jonesin' hard for blood, a swollen jugular can appear enticing to me like a plump, juicy cheeseburger is for others.
I lust for blood in all forms and manifestations and have indulged in the crimson nectar many, many times in my bloodthirsty life.
When it comes to blood, it's all good: Korean soondae has its deep blood and herbal characteristics, German blutwurst comes thinly sliced but big on blood flavor, British black pudding is more subtle but blends nicely with a fried egg's runny yolk, Chinese pork blood is intensely fiery with a heavy mineral profile, not to mention French boudin noir, Spanish morcilla, Filipino dinuguan, Vietnamese snake blood and other seductive blood foods.
Still, there is one blood plate that destroys them all, and if I ever needed a transfusion via my gullet, the one blood I'd demand, without hesitation, would be the blood cake at Waterloo & City concocted by Executive Chef Brendan Collins.
His bloody delicious blood cake is born of pig's blood and fat, caramelized apples and onions, herbs, a splash of cognac, eggs, cream and vivacious quatre épices. The entire lot is then baked in a terrine mold. 100 year-old balsamic vinegar is drizzled on the plate like ancient sangre with the blood cake topped by a fried organic egg. Fleur de sel and freshly cracked pepper sit scattered waiting to be of service. I toss the toast. Why would any blood eater in his right mind water down such beautiful blood? Perish the thought.
One bite is all it takes to be converted (or, really, addicted) to this blood cake. This stuff is pure. It's creamy. It melts. It coats the tongue with the savory essence of life along with a band of sweet spices and dazzling herbs. It is an unholy yet, ironically, divine amalgamation that a fellow diner dubbed "blood butter". The red velvety texture is counter-balanced with bits of perky caramelized apple and onion. Absolutely no garlic. Never in blood.
With slight exaggeration, Waterloo & City's blood cake is delicious enough to make one temporarily mad. The heady flavors cloud the senses long enough for fantasies of blood soaked food orgies to flicker in the mind's eye.
Then, just like that, the vision is gone, and it's time for another bite of blood.
Waterloo & City Gastropub
12517 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90066