There is a wave of euphoria around foods with charcoal and it appearing in ice creams, drinks etc. So Charcoal, in Venice is right on trend! Their menu has many charcoal dishes as well as a staple charcoal margarita (looks good tastes like a regular one) that I wish would detox while making me cheerful at once (charcoal supposedly takes all impurities away…).
The menu is based on dishes cooked in coal or charcoal and is cool and interesting.
We went to dinner with my mother in-law and boyfriend (in from Dallas) who for some mysterious reason, tend to order the same things always! Selfish me always gets upset as it limits the number of things I get to try…..
What we ate:
Cabbage: I know sounds insane to just eat a cabbage but it was baked in embers and served with Yogurt, Sumac and Lemon Zest and was absolutely delicious. The cabbage was perfectly cooked and paired well with the yogurt. Yum!
Coal roasted shishito peppers, fava beans, sugar snap peas, citrus mango salt: perfectly charred peppers, favas and beans with a nice kick from the one off super spicy pepper you may randomly get.
Smoky grilled chicken wings, oregano, chili, and vinegar: these were a big hit at the table and the two portions disappeared. I am not a wings person as I don’t love eating with my hands (crazy I know) but Stewart gave me a bite and they were tender and well seasoned.
Grilled calamari, blue lake brand, almonds, lemon breadcrumbs: I love grilled calamari and had high hopes for this salad. The beans, tomatoes and accoutrements were great while the calamari didn’t shine and lacked the char I was expecting as they were a bit limp.
Salmon Creek Farms ranch pork porterhouse, marinated and cheered: The pork was tender and delicious and despite being so good, we couldn’t finish as it was a massive portion. It worked perfectly the next day in our ramen at home.
Charred Brussels sprouts, Sonora wheatberries, portobello, Calabrian Chili, duck egg: I singlehandedly devoured almost this entire dish. The sprouts were perfectly caramelised in the oven and the eggs tossed on make it very creamy. The wheat berries swam on the bottom capturing all the juices and ended up almost risotto like.
Soft shell crabs: Linda and Charles both ordered it and she didn’t like hers and he thought his was ok. I ended up not tasting it as he is not one to share and hers did look off, stringy and mostly shells.
Charcoal creme brûlée: visually stunning and tasted just like an old fashioned brûlée. Good.
Chocolate PB cake: I ordered this thinking I would just have a bite but it was so divine we devoured the entire cake which had layers of rich chocolate and crunchy peanut butter. The McConnell’s Double Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream served with it was absolutely creamy and addictive. I need this dessert again!!!!
In sum: some absolutely tasty dishes and a few just ok but we would definitely go back and explore more of the menu.
425 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292