Whaddaya know. Harrison Ford’s kid is Chef, and his place in Culver City isn’t too…bad.
There is value in a neighborhood place, the local joint. I’ve always said so.
Then why am I so ambivalent about Ford’s Filling Station?
I really can’t put my finger on it. Maybe I’m just being a hardass. You walk in, and the place seems…nice enough, if un-extraordinary. Of course, my dining companion and I were relegated to the outside patio. This being December, and seeing a lot of otherwise open tables inside, it did kinda make me wonder.
Okay, granted it was a Friday.
And…okay, granted we walked in cold with no reservations, but…dang. Outside in December? Even with the heaters?
It sat…okay with us. Not enough to piss us off, but not enough to thrill us either
Service is friendly and inviting though. And Ben Ford’s background isn’t one to sneeze at. You read his bio on the Restaurant’s website, and…well…it’s damn impressive: The Farm of Beverly Hills, Opus, Campanile? This is not the resume of a dilettante Chef. This is a resume of a mover and a shaker in the Culinary world who can write his own ticket, no matter who his Daddy is. So if this is the stuff he’s cooking, if this is what he’s going to do when he’s got his own shop, let’s assume that this is stuff he actually likes to see cooked up.
Plus, they’ve got a branch now out at LAX, so he can’t be doing too badly, you know?
You know. Upon further review, I’m going to take a dial this back a bit. Maybe it’s what I got. Maybe I should have just ordered something else. Ford’s Filling Station isn’t ever going to be confused with a stop on the Foodie Station of the Cross. It’s not a hipster haunt a place everyone who’s everyone must show their face at. It’s a neighborhood joint. It is what it is. I can’t give it high marks, but given it’s pedigree, I can’t bring myself to condemn it either.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, I decided to run with my usual Porktastic instincts. I went immediately for the the Smoked Pork Taquitos and the Pork Belly Flatbread.
Now, the Pork Belly Flatbread was interesting enough, and was a good enough meal. I want you to imagine the sight of the meal as it is put in front of me. Imagine a pizza with four large slices of pork draped across it, sitting atop a bit of drizzled white sauce. It was a strange, vaguely disturbing looking meal, like a bunch of baked tongues staring back at you. Well, no matter how it looked, it tasted good enough. It didn’t sing to me, but definitely not bad.
The Smoked Pork Taquitos weren’t bad…at first. They had a nice feel and taste to them, but as they went on and on, they felt drier and drier. Seriously, I was looking for my water glass every chance I got.
My dining companion that night picked a far simpler, and far more interesting plate, the Whole Roasted Cauliflower. I had a bite of that, and that was good. Weirder still, because I really, really don’t like Cauliflower. In truth, I actively dislike Cauliflower, so that should tell you something.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing too serious to mention, but when visiting, try to sit inside. There’s just nothing scenic about the closed in “porch” (if you insist on calling it that), outside at night.
Bear in mind, that Ford’s Filling Station is conveniently located just across the street from the Pacific Culver 12 Theaters, so if you’re looking for something else to do after dinner, you’re covered.
PARKING: Fortunately, we now have a Culver City Parking Map. The closest thing is the Watseka Structure just off (you guessed it) Watseka Avenue, which is on the same block as the restaurant. You can also try the Cardiff and Ince Buildings which, despite how far they look on the map, really aren’t that far away. Street Parking is a little tough to get on a Friday or Saturday Night.
Ford’s Filling Station
9531 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Tel: (310) 202-1470
Monday-Thursday 11:30 am – 10 pm
Friday 11:30 am – 11 pm
Saturday 11 am – 11 pm
Sunday 11 am – 9 pm