In-N-Out Bucato….

bucato

I recently went on a date with a supposed sure thing that ended up having absolutely no redeeming qualities or soul.

No, I did not cheat on my husband, but I did have a dull, uninspired evening at a new, highly touted Los Angeles restaurant…the company was stimulating, though…thank goodness or it would not have been worth getting gussied up and putting on make up.

The culprit is Bucato, or as I will from here on refer to it, In-N-Out Bucato, since our meal was ordered, served and paid for in 45 minutes.

Seriously, the food isn’t terrible, but if you are hungry or are craving good service or personality then eat elsewhere.

Chef Evan Funke
Chef Evan Funke

I am going to throw out an assumption based on my pathetic dining experience…Chef Evan Funke, formerly of Rustic Canyon, is a control freak. You cannot use your cell, which is fine with me, but reviewing a restaurant is difficult without being able to take photos…no talky, just photos, please.

Nothing on the menu can be altered…chef’s way or the highway. Can I meet you first so I can decide if I want to spend my money on your way?

The meats are plopped down barely cooked and they cannot be done one second more than chef demands. Reservations are only accepted the day of  after 9:30am…really? Why book if you cannot earn Open Table points or at least make plans a day or two in advance. This is not a Joel Robuchon experience.

The service was sporadic. Our waiter barely spoke English and the supporting server was from Mars. She told us things about herself that I don’t even want my mother to share.

The dishes arrived in rapid succession so it probably would have been better to place a trough in the middle of the table and throw all the ordered items in, stir and hand us each a ladle and dig in.

Additionally, the wood veneer on the table was incorrectly treated so your skin actually stuck to the table. It felt as if a gaggle of toddlers had just dined at Bucato. Wait, are children allowed?

Squash Blossoms
Squash Blossoms

We ordered the fried cauliflower ‘sicilian style’ ($9) which was tasty, but I think mine is better. I did not think the bread crumbs added that much other than unnecessary calories. The squash blossoms with goat cheese and mint were very good. Chalk up one for the food Nazi.

The moron waiter forgot the salad and vegetable course (red dandelion salad with dates, capers, pine nuts, pecorinio ($13) and fried artichokes with burrata, stinging nettles ($14).

We went straight to Spaghetti alla Chitarra cacio and pepe ($16)…it probably cost $1 for each strand of the limited quantity of pasta. I traditionally add pepper to everything because I grew up with an amazing Cuban/Jamaican nanny (dislike the pretentious term…2nd mother works better), but this was way to much pepper and butter and a portion size fit for an anorexic, aspiring actress.

Within seconds, as if we were running the LA Marathon, a just slaughtered cow, I mean flat iron steak with salsa rustica ($15) was presented…I have had more steak on a Subway sandwich. It was instantaneously followed by spicy octopus smothered with berlotti beans, roasted tomatoes and nduja (spicy pork sausage) that was the same hue as infant poop ($17). Just throw it in the trough for some surf and turf. We stupidly asked for the sausage to be removed since my husband does not eat meat, but we received a verbally spanky and were denied.

The only photos I found online were of the compliant chef, octopus and squash blossoms. The octopus photo was obviously staged because our serving had 3 pieces of octopus.

Octopus Photo/Scott SMith
Octopus Photo/Scott Smith

The check arrived without asking moments after we passed on dessert, but were considering coffee. Can you say, “Bye bye.” Under 1 hour. I should have put less money in the meter…wasted 50 cents.

The waiter did not even offer us anything for screwing up the order. I had to fight the urge to retie his fashion faux pas bow tie and make it fit quite snugly.

On the way out, the manager randomly attempted to comment on my Louboutin’s and asked how dinner was. I said it sucked. To his credit he asked if he could do anything, although we were practically out the door. I responded, “Yes. Please, give me directions to the closest In-N-Out Burger.”

We did a drive by on the way home and had burgers our way.

Bucato is an expensive bitch of a bummer…for the price, ambiance and a myriad of other solid reasons, eat elsewhere.

3280 Helms Avenue Culver City, California. Dinner Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:30pm. Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:30pm. Brunch-Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am – 3:00pm.

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