Restaurant Review: Waterloo & City in Culver City

Last night I caught up with a good friend at Waterloo & City for dinner. I have been long hearing fabulous things about this Culver City Gastropub, so I was pretty excited to give it a try.

The menu is not allergy-friendly at all, so I was hopeful that the chef would be cool with a couple of simple substitutions.  Unfortunately this was not the case.

Dun dun dun.

I know, I rarely review negatively – that is, unless I really feel so compelled.  This was one of those times.

Now, not to rant on unnecessarily, but this whole “no substitutions policy” thing is straight up BS.  I get it when customers take it too far and ruin the integrity of a dish – but when you legitimately have food allergies and ask for “the Mussels Dish to be served with Fries instead of Ciabatta”, I honestly don’t think the chef’s ego need be bruised. Ever heard of Moules-frite?  Hello.

The waitress while helpful, didn’t seem to understand that by allergy I really meant allergy – as in “this food makes me sick, so please don’t include it.” She insisted that there were plenty of GF/DF options on the menu and walked me through the menu, dish by dish, only to realize that there was only one option: a Pork Chop. I really wasn’t in the mood for Pork so I asked (really nicely) one more time if I could have the mussels and just please don’t include the ciabatta – and a SIDE of fries.  Luckily the waitress was a sweetheart and agreed. Seriously, I still don’t get why this was such a big deal.

Unfortunately the meal was awful. The mussels were under-cooked and unnaturally large (seriously, I’ve never see such gigantic mussels, and no, it wasn’t a good thing.) The broth was more of a sweetened tomato puree and with a dash of coconut milk – entitling it to a menu description of “Thai Curry” which I assure you, it was not.

I really wanted to like this place – really I did.  This was just a disappointment all around. I will say this – my friend’s pasta dish looked amazing and she seemed very happy with it – so perhaps the conclusion to this review is that this joint just isn’t suitable for folks with any dietary restrictions/food allergies.

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2 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: Waterloo & City in Culver City

    • Exactly – there’s gotta be a line somewhere on this issue. I don’t expect chefs to cater to every whim and fancy of their patrons, but at least minor accommodations should be considered the bare minimum.

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