Up until a few years ago, I could not eat tomatoes. I was fine with tomato sauce or any cooked version of the red fruit (or is it vegetable?) but I couldn’t eat anything with the slimy seeds still in tacked. It just grossed me out.
All changed, however, during my trip to Florence when I tasted the sweetest and the freshest tomato in the world in the mozzarella / tomato / basil grilled panini form. For the rest of the stay, I consumed as much of the fruit as humanly possible, in pastas, salads, sandwiches … you name it I ate it. But my favorite was always in Insalata Caprese.
For me, Insalata Caprese, a simple salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, is not just my favorite tomato dish, but one of my favorite dishes, period. I’m always on the lookout for the freshest and the best tasting one that reminds me of my stay in Italy. But what I often forget is that cheese has as much importance as the tomato in this salad, and the Caprese I had at Bottle Rock in Culver City reminded me of that.
Caprese offered at Bottle Rock, a busy wine bar in the heart of Culver City, is an ordinary tomato / mozzarella salad with a kick, using a creamy, luscious burrata cheese in place of the thick, chewy cousin. Burrata, a hybrid of mozzarella and cream, where the outer mozzarella serves as the shell for the heavenly cream that resides in the middle, tastes a little like a fluffy tofu, and gives a distinct, sophisticated feel to this Italian staple. The cheese, accompanied by sweet heirloom tomato wedges, drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil, was simply divine, especially paired with your favorite red. There are over 800 wine labels from around the world at Bottle Rock, and you’re sure to find the one you love from its extensive seller.
3847 Main Street, Culver City, CA 90232
omg! didn’t the cheese just MELT in your mouth? i tasted the fullness & richness of milk and wonder if that’s the similar experience you’d have if you had a freshly “squeezed” milk from a cow in a farm. it’s the smoothest cheese i’ve ever had and i’ve had a TON of cheese from all over the world. i’m glad to have found a perfect match to my favorite red wine, without having to travel to italy too often!
there are so many more restaurants i want to introduce to you.
what are you doing fthis riday evening 😛
p.s. if any of the photos are too dark, send me a jpeg and i’ll color correct them for you as i’m a photoshop wiz!
ooh! 2 five stars in one evening! i’m glad we’re on a same page 🙂
Oh yeah, that cheese was AMAZING! It was like eating fluffy tofu and mochi together … certainly one of the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted. You will really like Osteria Mozza’s mozarella dishes. We need to go there soon.
I now know why you’re so in love with Culver City. I was truly impressed with the restaurant scene there, and i can’t wait to explore it more with you!
Oh yeah, I need to start learning about Photoshop and other photo enhancing tools! I’ll definitely take you up on the offer later!