I was invited to be a part of a special tasting at Carvery Kitchen deep on the westside in Santa Monica featuring some of this establishment’s sandwiches, meats and dishes to experience the “Art of Deli” as the press release quantified it. I arrived with few expectations with the exceptions that I was going to have brisket and beer. For me, that was a delightful concept to entertain!
When I arrived, I settled in the back corner while engaging with the hostess who lined me up with one of Brouwerij West‘s owners Brian Mercer. Who in turn, quickly introduced me to 2 of Brouwerij West’s tasty Belgian styled brews. Brian was quick to inform me on the beers’ taste and character. The golden “My First Rodeo” was a drier beer and “Dog Ate My Homework” had a fruitier characteristic, lining up with Belgian sensibilities. Of course, I double fisted them both and gave them the once over twice!
While I was in the process of sampling the beers my hostess delivered a cool, off the menu brisket sandwich prepared especially for this tasting event. The brisket for this special sandwich had been marinated for two weeks in anticipation of this event. The special sandwich’s ingredients were “in-house” freshly baked cibatta bread, the specially marinated smoked brisket, a barbecue chili sauce, candied garlic, tomato confit, provolone and a beautifully presented layer of spinach. It was simply and exquisitely presented and the taste of succulent brisket was accented by these subtle undertones of the tomato confit with candied garlic and chili barbecue sauce added the buzzy heat to every sumptuous bite. I wanted to go there again, but puff it had vanished among all those in attendance for the tasting.
The other taste adventures offered from Carvery Kitchen’s menu included: the turkey and chicken dip, the roast beef, and the pulled pork. I found the Lemon – caper au jus for the chicken and turkey — a nice accent to the tender and moist meat in both sandwiches. The roast beef was delicious and the pulled pork with the cabbage slaw a delightful combination.
I was joined by my friend, Erica McIntire, who ordered a roast beef and pulled pork combination plate. As we sat and talked she was kind enough to share portions of her roast beef and pulled pork, a la carte, not as part of a sandwich. I was amazed how tender and tasty the roast beef was as it melted in my mouth. The pulled pork took on new characteristics of sweet and savory as it danced across my palate. I enjoyed both beers and tried to pair the ones that rested most comfortably with the various selection. I found that the fruity or berry flavored “Dog Ate My Homework” was a nice combination with the pulled pork. It so happens that Brouwerij West brewery has been part of San Francisco’s Toronado‘s beer list and has enjoyed popularity throughout portions of Northern and Southern California over the last 3 years of its existence.
Harrison Held, Yolanda Pulakis, Diane Herbert, Pamela Chais and Kathleen Hughes came for the tasting in addition to my guest Erica McIntire. Erica and I joined them all for a few minutes after we had had time to eat the various offering from Carvery Kitchen’s creations. Harrison has a blog called “Scene Around Town,” where he shares lifestyle and local entertainment news. Each of these lovely ladies have a story of their own. Diane Herbert is an actress, who was very close to Marilyn Monroe and her sister Pam Chais is a well-known writer, who wrote for many television shows, that includes the comedy TV series “Maude”. Kathleen was a very established actress and bombshell beauty of the 50’s, who was married to producer Stanley Rubin. I took the time to introduce Erica, an actress and artist herself, to these luminaries of screen and television in the midst of this exceptional dining experience. It was a delightful time after we finished all our meals to have such a charming moment together.
The owner, Roman Shishalovsky, took a few moments to acquaint me with Carvery Kitchen’s salads and other menu possibilities. There are vegetarian choices like, Falafel Puffs and Quinoa – Tabbouleh Salad, on the menu. You can mix and match to have a customized experience at the deli too. It’s very close to Santa Monica Community College where you can call in an order or you can order on line on their website. I’m sure you could have Postmates deliver a meal to your location too. Carvery Kitchen is an unassuming dining destination on Ocean Park Boulevard. But you’ll be hard pressed to find such a top-notch eatery in the surrounding neighborhood with their selection and taste. Carvery Kitchen has garnered rave reviews on Yelp and for good reason: delivering excellent service and delicious quality deli food is a hallmark of this Westside foodie destination.