I’m never going back to Ford’s Filling Station ever again.
I’d made dinner reservations at Cobras & Matadors in addition to Ford’s Filling Station because I couldn’t make up my mind on where I wanted to go. I decided to let my dining partner, who’d never heard of either, choose. Unfortunately, he chose wrong.
I was running late, and knew we were going to miss our 9:30pm reservations. I called C&M to cancel and got voicemail. Of course I did, it’s a decent restaurant and they were busy on a Friday night. FFS picked up on the first ring. They were more than happy to move our reservation back. After hanging up, I commented upon this and my dining partner said, “Maybe we shouldn’t have called the other restaurant first?” I laughed, sure that it would be fine. I was wrong.
FFS is in downtown Culver City, a formerly shady part of town that in the past several years has undergone a Renaissance of sorts and is now well-lit and mostly clean. When we arrived, I’d expected to see a gastropub of NYC's The Spotted Pig variety, and was surprised to see that it is an unremarkable in-line space between an alley and some sort of take-out joint.
We were seated quickly. The waitress rattled off the specials in the usual fashion, but I didn’t pay much attention because I’ve read Kitchen Confidential and now know better than to pay top-dollar for rotting leftovers. (And she was really pushing the Kansas City steak special, which proved to me that Bourdain is right.) After I told the waitress three times that I couldn’t eat a whole steak, I went with the lamb dish because it sounded complicated. My friend ordered scallops. We ordered a few cheeses to start with, and a bottle of wine off of the severely lacking wine list.
The cheeses were dropped off by another member of the wait staff as he was walking by. I thought it was customary for the waiter to point out which cheese was which. Apparently not. We simply played a guessing game. Not much later, our dinners arrived: my lamb, white beans and escarole and my friend’s….Kansas City steak special.
When we protested they took it away, leaving my dinner to cool as I waited for his. I may know nothing about wine, and only little more than that about food, but I do know customer service – and this place isn’t cutting it. Between the mediocre-to-poor service, lamb that resembled rope and wine that my dining partner described as “barely passable” we were far from impressed.
Total Price: $120 for two, exclusive of tip. This included 1 bottle of blah wine, 3 ounces of cheese, 1 mediocre and 1 barely edible entree. Needless to say, it’s overpriced as well.