Just before The Churchill hit its one year anniversary, the restaurant had already undergone a major change in the kitchen. Last month, Chef Bruce Kalman stepped into the culinary lead and revamped the neighborhood restaurant’s offerings. With a new touch, The Churchill has re-positioned itself as a major contender in the Third Street area. Both Amir and I missed the anniversary party due to his birthday celebration in Las Vegas. Just a couple of weeks prior to a few days in Sin City, I had the opportunity to enjoy a midweek brunch at The Churchill featuring several dishes and cocktails from the new menu.
The Churchill is owned and operated by Beau Laughlin and Brett Cranston who opened the doors of The Hudson three years ago. They created a high ceiling and concrete floor eatery with sturdy shared table space, an open air patio and upstairs seating next to a funky photo booth. Bringing in Chef Kalman, a pro who comes from Misfit and Urbano Pizza Bar, meant the addition of local, farmers market ingredients, sophisticated techniques and unique flavors. If you follow him on Twitter, you’ll find excited mentions and photos of his market finds and kitchen creations. His passion is infectious, but what’s most important is the food. He has a knack for cooking with intrigue and making you want more and more.
The midday meal included several dishes, but there were three stand outs. The Croque Madame is Kalman’s take on the traditional French sandwich. Hearty, crusty slices of bread hold salty ham and melted Gruyère with housemade pickled mustard and a runny, yellow yolk. The Short Rib Hash and Eggs features meat braised for 10-hours in a rich jus with bright orange carrots and other root vegetables popping out of the dark sauce. Slice through the eggs on top to add extra oomph to the mix.
The third winning part of the meal was dessert. Crème brûlée with a dense chocolate hazelnut crust below the creamy crusted and topped with candied hazelnuts. You have probably never had anything quite like this. Chef Kalman’s playful use of textures in this classic sweet add a notable twist to one of my all-time favorites.
Chef Bruce Kalman is not the only new kid at school. Mixologist Mia Sarazen, with a past that includes Harvard & Stone, Black Market and Tasting Kitchen, stepped into the head bar spot this past September, and she has carefully selected a number of cocktails to feature on the fall menu. There are two that are waiting to grace my lips. The Bulldog features Milagro tequila, passion fruit, pineapple, serrano peppers and lime. The Iron Mule combines vodka, ginger, lime, grenadine and a dash of soda water. Either one of them would make me a happy camper any time of the day. Here’s a tip: Happy hour runs everyday from 3:00 – 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm – 12:00 am on Sunday and Monday nights. For food or drink, be sure to head over to The Churchill sooner than later.
8384 West Third Street
West Hollywood, CA 90048