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Boo (hoo) Bucato: Food vs. Feeling

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When I was a little girl, my Dad used to tell a very bad one-line joke. Often.  He said the Definition of mixed feelings was having your mother-in-law Drive off a cliff in your brand new Cadillac.  He was the only one who laughed. Often.

Last night, my experience at Bucato, the new-ish hit Italian restaurant in Culver City, Defined for the moment my own mixed feelings.

My friend Gail and I ordered well.  Better than well, masterfully and bountifully.

A glass of Italian Abruzzo white and two glasses of Italian red whose producers I Don't recall.  (I don't take notes while I Dine. Dumb?) 

Squash blossoms fried and crisped impeccably bursting with creamy mild goat's cheese (or was it sheep's milk ricotta?).

Arugula salad with walnuts and lemon with an herbed vinaigrette.  Ultimately too coarse and acidic.

Cavatelli with Duck ragù.  Insanely perfect. 

Pork loin with persimmon, brussel sprouts, escarole, and a side scraping of puréed celery root.  Hugely portioned and worth its salt.  (Safe assumption that Chef Evan Funke likes salt. He uses it as it was meant to be used, not to hide flavor but to enhance it.)

Branzino, sea salted and surrounded by golden raisins and toasted pine nuts.  Soft, Delicate, ideally cooked and Daintily sauced.

I'd be more precise on the items and their accompaniments but the menu was not allowed to leave the premises and is not online.

I'd show you how fabulous the food was except that the manager admonished me, strongly, that I was not allowed to take photos, with or without flash, whether or not I was completely Discreet.  Same said manager (who goes by "Phil" - oh really?) said not to contact him but to contact their PR firm in Chicago if I wanted to have any food staged for photos at a later Date.

I'd tell you to subtly text your babysitter that you'll be Delayed because you're Dazzling your Date over Dessert except no cell phone use is allowed in the restaurant.  Not just boisterous Disrespectful use, but any use.

I'd tell you that if you wanted one of only two menu salads that you could remove an item if you were highly allergic, but I'd be lying.   Nothing can be removed.  Our server was our ally and put the raw onions on the side but hid them as though they were contraband.

I'd tell you to hurry up and make a reservation except that they Don't accept them ahead of time.  Same Day only and only by phone.

Sounds Dismal in those contexts.  Redux "mixed feelings."   Gail and I had a wonderful prime time Despite Displeasing policies.  The hostess Paulina is the sweetest and close-to-prettiest person you may ever meet.  She compensated by slipping by our table a few times to ameliorate.  Our server was Delightful and not patronizingly so.  The Decor is modern chic, not as in 2013 but as in 2018 like a set of the movie, "Her."  The food is Dramatically Delicious hearkening a Deliberate and grand homage to Italy. Its spectacular qualities can't be Denied.  The pasta itself was a gourmand's revelation and the Drool-worthy Duck ragu is barely imaginable as though it Defies Duplication.  I could have eaten Double the portion myself and called it a night.  To that, if you ordered wine, squash blossoms, any pasta and a Dessert, you could eat the perfect meal.

What to Do?  Go back and suffer their Dependence on petty policy that inhibits feelings of welcome? Or Dive in again because the transcendent quality of the food Dominates over the trifling?

I'm leaning toward the latter.  Thoughts??

Stolen moments follow.  Please Don't tell the Bucato police.


Crisp wine. Crisper photo. Taken innocently without knowing policy.
The other-worldly squash blossoms. Best in class. Photo taken with warning.
Cavatelli with Duck ragu taken shaking in fear of being caught. Resultant photo is blurry.




Bucato
3280 Helms Avenue
Culver City, CA 90034

(310) 876-0286