Local Flavor

Meet Culver City's new farm-to-table crowd-pleaser

Rather than resorting to modern dining clichés (seasonally driven, small plates, farm-to-table), we're just going to go ahead and describe The Wallace in a much simpler fashion: Darn tasty.

Culver City's bright and airy new restaurant from chef Michael Teich, whose resumé spans from Cleo in Hollywood to Axe in Venice, emphasizes local produce and global spices in a variety of crowd-pleasing ways.

The vegetarian at our table fawned over charred cauliflower blasted with capers and Parmesan sauce ($9). Another friend championed the roasted squash with cilantro quinoa ($10). The cured salmon belly, spiked with horseradish and decorated with three colorful varieties of raw beets ($11) was our personal favorite.

"Vegetables lend themselves better to creativity than a piece of steak," says Teich.

The Wallace dining room (Photo: Jenni Hwang)

Most of his dishes are well-suited for sharing: Glass jars filled with savory bacon marmalade, romesco and melted greens ($8) and a Korean-influenced shrimp pancake with harissa aioli and spicy pickles ($13) both arrive on large wooden platters. Someone will undoubtedly fight you for the last Gruyère and pepper popover ($6).

The Wallace's subtle charm isn't groundbreaking, but the well-traveled Teich–often seen directing traffic at the kitchen pass–executes his menu with ninja precision. His wife, Carol, runs the front of the house with similar efficiency.

The dynamic combination is the enough to have us–and our dining companions–cheering for more.