A tepid time at Ford’s Filling Station

It was a fluke that we ended up at Ford’s Filling Station. Austin — you can read his review on The Hungry Dogg — and I had driven up to LA for breakfast only to find our desired destination was closed due to a power outage. So at the last minute, we decided to head over to Culver City in hopes of getting a table at Chef Ben Ford’s eatery only to find they weren’t open yet. So yet another 40 minutes of mulling around the area before we were able to enter and sit down.

The lunch crowd weren’t out yet and we pretty much had the run of the restaurant both inside and out. I wasn’t feeling a table and asked if we could sit at the high tables at the bar where the natural light streaming through the windows felt like the perfect spot.

The restaurant’s warm decor really appealed to me, lots of wood but still retaining a casual feel. Little knick knacks dotted here and there added to the charm of the atmosphere.

We started with Deviled Eggs ($4) which completely didn’t register any wow-factor on my palate whatsoever. Smoky marash peppers are listed as one of the ingredients on the menu, but I couldn’t detect the Turkish peppers at all. It could’ve been regular paprika for all I know — I saw the sprinkling, but there wasn’t enough to make a marked difference in the filling to make it stand out from other deviled eggs.

Lucky for us Blue Maxx ($14) was very good. Poached eggs sit atop a bed of bacon smoked potato, spinach, fontina, and topped with hollandaise. There are also two slices of bacon served on the side.

The poached eggs are perfectly runny and the spinach beautifully seasoned, adding a fresh dimension to the dish. This is the perfect brunch item and reminds me of something Chef Dee Nguyen of Break of Dawn in Laguna Hills would serve on his menu.

It is unfortunate then that our next item, Skillet Fried Chicken ($16) was disappointing. The ham hock risotto was not allowed enough time to release the appropriate amount of starch making it dry for a risotto and too wet to be a “rice”.

On top of that it was bland and tasteless. The “wilted” red frill mustard greens were too far along to be just wilted and the fried chicken was overcooked and seriously dry. I had to send this one back.

Polenta Cake ($16) with pearl onion, mixed mushrooms, blistered tomatoes and truffle marscapone cheese was okay. I loved the mushroom medley and the accompanying pearl onions. The truffle marscapone cheese slice atop the polenta cake was an overkill purely because there was too much of it.

The crispy portion of the polenta cake was delicious and both Austin and I wanted more. Perhaps making two smaller rounds instead of the one large would’ve solved that problem.

Our server, who was also the bartender was attentive enough. He checked up on us several times and even made Austin a really lovely cocktail. His laid back British demeanor was nice on a lazy Sunday morning. The food didn’t blow me away, but we want to return and check out the dinner offerings before a final analysis.

Ford’s Filling Station
9531 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Tel: 310-202-1470

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2 thoughts on “A tepid time at Ford’s Filling Station

  1. You are so brutally honest.
    Again, I am not so inspired to drive up to this place either. Sounds too ordinary. Unlike other reviews I’ve read in magazines.
    LL

  2. If the menu says marash pepper, then it is marash pepper, because the one thing I’ve learned about Ben Ford is that he’s honest. I have ordered the devilled eggs multiple times and really like them. I agree with you on the Blue Maxx-it’s my all time favorite breakfast anywhere…with the exception of Ford’s Huevos Rancheros-which are sublime. Haven’t tried the fried chicken, but most of my friends order and love the Polenta Cake-delicious. I think one on the plate is fine and makes for a pretty plating. If you share, you can split it. I’ve found that Ford’s is my favorite destination when I drive to Culver City. I can relax and chill out there, and ear great food. And the bar is great…friendly and creative.

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