Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bottle Rock, Part 2


I went back to Bottle Rock the other day for lunch. Same great wine, cheese, and salami, this time they had 3 new salads and pastries. I was dying for the truffle cheese panini which I heard about on my first visit, and had been fantasizing about ever since. It was pressed on the flat side of the panini press ( I prefer the crimps, but as long as it is toasted nice and dark, which this one was, I forgot all about the crimps). Unfortunately it was a little disappointing. The walnut bread overpowered the truffle cheese - I could not detect the truffle flavor. Cafe Surfas made this same mistake with their "ultimate grilled cheese," using raisin bread. A nice simple country white would be much better to showcase the wonderful cheese flecked with truffle.

On the other hand, the salads were spectacular. A delicate tuna and white bean salad, an heirloom tomato, cucumber and feta salad, and a riff on a Caprese salad with bell peppers and a perfectly tangy, almost fluffy balsamic mustard vinaigrette emulsified to perfection.

The pan au tomate reminded me of my time in Spain eating tomato rubbed bread for breakfast. This one has a nice thin layer of minced tomato, a delicious warm up to the cheese plate and salads.

They now have some pastries, including this chocolate pecan tart. The tart was fabulous, a nice buttery crust, and a soft, rich chocolate filling. I just felt it was a bit out of place in a wine bar. I would much prefer a nice little dark chocolate truffle, or pot de creme to nibble on along with my dessert wine. The tart was just too big and fancy after plates of rich cheese and salami. A smaller, more delicate dessert would help complement and showcase the true star - the wine.


BottleRock
3847 Main Street
Culver City, CA
90232
310-836-WINE

17 comments:

off2cdwzrd said...

Bree - I just wanted to say thank you for the great reviews and pictures... you seem to be hitting all the places I want to go, but you're one step ahead so I get the benefit of your input first!

We went to Bottle Rock Wednesday night. They were already busy, too busy, and discovering what did and didn't work. Luckily the food and wine work! It seems to be their processes and procedures that have all the bugs (computer, cash register, credit card, and not enough glasses to keep the tasting flights flowing!) When I mentioned that the plate they brought me looked just like the picture on your blogsite, they seemed especially pleased :-)

Anyway, keep up the good work, and when you're able, please post the address of the places you visit. I'm right behind you...

triplecreme said...

Thanks for the feedback, I am glad you tried out Bottle Rock. So far I have only been there during slow times, but I will check it out tonight when they will be busy. I posted the address on the first Bottle Rock post, just scroll down a bit.

Anonymous said...

We were very excited to try Bottle Rock- heard great things. We went last Friday around 8pm and all the tables were full. This was not a problem as we were only stopping in to check out the ambience and the wine list.
The bar was packed, so we wandered up to the only tiny space that was available. Apparently it was an unmarked server station, and we were very rudely shoved out of the space by a so-called "owner" with a heavy accent. He demanded us to move away and down the bar, that we could not stand there. We asked if we could just order a drink and move, or could he offer us a better place to order wine.. he bitterly told us "No! Just move!" I asked "where" and he said "I don't know, just move." I smiled and told him there is no need to be rough, and he threatened us back with "Oh- I can be more rough!" I said "Great, then we will leave." "Good. Get Out," He said.

In all my years of living in LA and dining well in LA, I have never been treated with such disrespect or boorishness from anyone, especially an owner of an establishment. He should be taking anger management, or lessons from Dimitri at Tower Bar- a gem of a man and maitre'd. This "owner" should be warned that LA is a small town and word travels fast. As an event planner in this city, he can be assured that the gospel will be spread about BottleRock.

triplecreme said...

What an unfortunate experience. I have never delt with the owner you mentioned, only Adam and sommelier Drew, and have only been treated well by them.

Anonymous said...

We also had an "unfortunate" experience, one not as dramatic, but maybe more quoditien at BottleRock. We went with another couple on a Sunday night (Jason not there). The place was pretty empty, but the sommelier was so "busy" he could not seem able to answer questions (we had to run after him). When we requested a bottle from the wall, he suggested a more expensive one. When they were out of a glass ($7) one of us ordered, they brought us a $14 glass & said they were substituing it. Netiher cool. The sommelier had left before 7:30 & the VERY sweet waitresses did not know basic things about the wines (& neglected to get the requested info).

Anonymous said...

I have been to Bottle Rock twice and I certainly agree they have bugs and kinks to work out. There was one particular gentleman working there who was quite rude. Fortunately, I had met the owner earlier in the evening while discussing wine...he comped me wine and food to make up for the poor service. I wonder if the post before was talking about the same gentleman? I am fairly certain he is not an owner. Anyway, I hope they work out their kinks, because I would hate for them to lose customers.

Anonymous said...

Went to Bottle Rock last night with high expectations, left very disappointed...server was rude, slow, ignorant and was serving himself wine faster than anyone else...atmosphere was too bright, chairs uncomfortable...the best thing about our bad experience was that it lead us to a great place down the street called UGO, italian cafe +wine bar ( http://cafeugo.com/ )...very cool and interactive tasting setup...great food, happy servers, good wine...I will be back there often and will definately recommend it to friends

triplecreme said...

I have been to Vinum Populi (ugo's wine bar)twice now, glad you liked it. Check back tomorrow for my review!

Anonymous said...

I went to bottlerock few nights ago for the first time and was astounded by the wine selections and service by manager nino.He knows a lot about wine and wine pairings to go with food.Please make sure you ask for him.Nino you rock.

Anonymous said...

I have been to bottlerock several times. I recently went and the service was hoffiric. I also noticed that they served foie gras, a very inhumane delicacy. I emailed the owner to suggest they take it off the menu and that I would not be able to frequent the establishment anymore. He replied that I should do better things with my time and that my comment was inappropriate. Unfortunately, I have recommmended this establishment to many people with comments I now must recant.

Anonymous said...

Been to BottleRock about five times now. We keep going back there because we work across the road, and a good glass of wine is just too tempting after work and/or before a movie. But boy, were it not for the good wine and their excellent selection fo cheeses, I would NEVER go back there. Time after time we left with a sour aftertaste - erratic, if not absolutely rude service. Cocky, ignorant, inefficient servers alternating with more knowledgeable, yet just as cocky, overworked and impolite 'managers' and self-proclaimed 'owners'. One time they substituted an out of stock 7$ glass of wine by another, not mentioning that glass was 32$... by the glass. Serious attitude problem there, but I guess they think they can because of their top quality products.

Anonymous said...

I have been to Bottlerock twice. I had heard about the place on Indie 103.1 Wino Weds and googled it and found this blog. Sounded good from last year. First time, I took a friend who just moved here from Hawaii thinking it might be a good place for her to meet people. I thought it would be a bar like Primotivo in Venice (a much better place). Sit down tables only and the staff did not appreciate you wondering around looking at the wines while you sip on a glass. The staff took forever to wait on us and when they did there was no appreciation for you as a customer. With food, I thought we spent a lot of money. So, I thought I would try the wine tasting. Again, no rush on service from the waitress. The management needed to help. The friendliest person was the gentleman from the wine brooker. Then the waitress' shift was over, she counted her tips and she totally forgot about us. Not even a thank you. Another waiter came around that was better. On our last taste of our flight the manager gave us little extra. We thought it was great deal even though service was undesirable. Then, we got the bill. We bought a bottle of wine thinking that the tasting was free. I made comment about the cost to manager and he rudely said that they were in business to make money. What they do is discount the days special wine flight ($12 as opposed to $18) and you have wine brooker there to tell you about the wine. They have great and unique wines. I will probably only go back to find a paticular bottle. Although, I have found better prices at the Wine House on Cotner.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried AOC on W. 3rd St. LA?

triplecreme said...

Oh course! It's great!

Jaime said...

I really enjoy Bottle Rock and am glad to read what you've had to say about it. I've been there several times and have never been disappointed (I noticed a couple comments were negative, that's unfortunate.) They have some rare wines in their collection, really exciting. Last time I was there, about 3 weeks ago, our server was fantastic. We would just describe what we wanted and the price range and he could bring us a bottle to suit our palates and wallets.

Great site. I've been a reader for a while, just never posted. I tried the Empanada Place after your suggestion. Fantastic! One of my favorite places to go now.

Charles said...

My wife and I live locally and walk to all the businesses in Culver City. If we had to drive to get to Bottle Rock, we'd never go there. Like many other posters have said, the service is horrendous. So bad that several of my friends refuse to go there.

One recent trip saw three of us waiting 20 minutes to be even acknowledged by the obnoxious owner (the balding guy) even though there was only 1 other customer in the entire bar! Truth be told, if I didn't like the concept and wine/beer so much, I'd take great delight in seeing those guys go out of business. Curse my love of wine and beer!

Vinum Populi is much better but too small and gets far too crowded. If only a real gastro pub would open in downtown Culver City! (and don't tell me Ford's is a gastro pub because it's not)

Drew said...

Now Bottle Rock has added giant plasma TVs! As if the place didn't have enough problems. I loathe that every bar in America feels compelled to have televisions. If you want to watch a sporting event, stay home. If you want to go out with friends and have conversation, buy a TiVo box.

A wine bar which shows football on Sundays??? Wtf?