Nov 29, 2010
Pump Up the Pumpkin! Rush Street's Fall Menu. Rush Street. Culver City, CA.
Drink your fruit!
Right now the last thing you probably want to read about is pumpkin. I know. I feel your pain. And anything pumpkin related involving alcohol is even worse to bring up after a gluttonous Turkey Day. So consider returning to this review after your Thanksgiving hangover has run its (multiple) courses. (Thank the pilgrims, mine is almost out of my system.)
Rush Street for me is primarily a place to booze and hang when in Culver City. It's cavernous and lively. The crowd is mostly decent even on a slow night. There's pole dancing upstairs if you feel an Elizabeth Berkley is within you needing to be exorcised.
To start the night by taking flight (and subsequently heading into a death spiral), I indulged in two of Rush Street's fall specialty drinks: the Caramel Appletini and the Pumpkin Pie Martini. Both were sweet beyond my sugar limits but were delicious like desserts with lots of happy juice. The Caramel Appletini took me back to the fabulous party hearty days of Sex and the City. I forgot how vicious Apple Pucker can be when mixed with vodka (or maybe that part of my brain had dissolved from too many apple martinis).
The Pumpkin Pie Martini, as with pumpkin pie, is an indulgence that is probably best left to consuming once a year. It's thick, frothy and sinfully sweet. The infused vodka, sugary liqueur and whip cream are unbelievably sweet together but make for one nice liquid interpretation of a pumpkin pie. It goes down easy, too easy.
Every restaurant fall menu should in some way celebrate the harvest season. It should champion freshness and wholesomeness regardless of whether or not there's a stripper pole upstairs. On Rush Street's fall menu, the Grilled Asparagus with wilted arugula and shiitake mushrooms does just those things. Everything about this plate of garden goodness is deliciously fresh and flavorful. The asparagus is charred just right to bring out the woodsy smokiness of the vegetable while still retaining a nice snappy texture. The arugula's savory-bitterness adds to the depth of the plate. Finally, the shiitake mushrooms lend their unique sweet, earthy flavors and slick, chewy textures to the whole, making this vegetable trio absolutely perfect.
The (almost) Great Pumpkin.
The Pumpkin Ravioli was an item on this menu that I felt truly hit on the theme. Upon arriving to the table, it looked the part scattered with pumpkin seeds and fried sage, richly orange in color and lusciously creamy.
The filling was quite custardy, almost like the texture of a pumpkin pie. The ravioli's wrap was likely overcooked and too soft and, unfortunately didn't offer the desired contrast with the mushy pumpkin inside. The flavors were wonderful with a strong sweet and savory combination of ingredients. The cream sauce was totally irresistible to dip into with every bite of the ravioli. Perhaps if the pumpkin filling included a more substantial, "meatier" element, the issue of the soft wrap around a soft filling would be resolved. Otherwise, it was fantastic fall fare. But you'll need at least a couple of hours on the pole to burn it all off.
9546 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232