Batch 8631 Bar and Restaurant

Have a Little Wine With That

Well, the Hubs is now my assistant in Martini Hunting. He enjoys the perks; drinking and dining as well as, like me, finding great new places. Last Saturday he searched Open Table for Gastro pubs and then invited me to join him for dinner at Batch 8631.

We approached the open but somewhat empty looking resto a little hesitantly, wondering where everyone was. Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret about me; as a hairdresser and Pilates instructor by day (hair is my Saturday gig) I enjoy a quiet space. I love people but by 7:00 on any given Saturday I have had enough social interaction for about the next 24 hours, my Hubby is all the company I need. That said, a resto that looks as good as Batch with lots of elbow room too was a welcome sight. It turns out that the back patio was quite full but we opted to sit indoors, next to the large windows that slide to give an open-air feeling.

Moments after we were seated Justina came to welcome us and tell us about Batch. Open since mid December in 2011, it was an unusually quiet night, but given that it was also Passover and  the Eve of Easter, not surprising.  The wonderfully high honeycomb ceiling is designed to soften the noise that comes with popularity and hung with Edison Bulbs. It is dramatic and beautiful. Walls covered in Bamboo paneling and chalkboards to show the days’ specials (can you say Salted Caramel Appletini?) it is an enviro-friendly and locally sourced restaurant.

We decided to start with a bottle of Petite Petite, a wonderful red blend with a comical label. James, Justina’s husband and an owner along with Matt Gries the incredibly talented mixologist, gave us an explanation of the label which had a circus-ey look and 2 elephants facing off on it, a homage to a joke between the vintners about whose ‘trunk’ was longest. Very cute and a bit saucy!

The Kendall Farm House Salad started us off, with melted leeks, pickled red onions and polenta crouton. Yummo! After consulting with our sweet waitress we decided on the Cheesy Mac with Six Point Pancetta. A decadently creamy dish, I think Chris actually proclaimed the Pancetta ‘little nuggets of deliciousness’. No exaggeration there. Now the two prior dishes are smaller ‘batches’; picture a bit more than tapas. We then moved on to the Zucherman’s Asparagus, Coop Egg and Speck Pizza.  If you’ve read my prior post you may be wondering if I’m going to be the pizza chick… I am too. I don’t know, I guess pizza, especially with egg on it is the hip way to dine in a low-ish key way these days. Maybe. I do love a good pizza and if they are half as good as this one was I’ll keep on with it. The egg was sunny side up and centered…  I dove right in and snatched up the piece with the most yolk…sorry Hubs.  It was awesome.  He and I sopped up all of the yolk with our artisan pizza; every last bit.

Now a funny little story about our evening… The pizza was delivered to our two top and we began digging in. Hubs may have leaned on an elbow or on the corner of the table as he served himself and it was just a bit too much. The table started to topple and we both were surprised; Chris reached out to stop it but my glass of Petite Petit slid off, in slow motion, I’m sure. I grabbed the glass out of the air but the wine in it kept moving, dramatically sloshing up and out. The granite topped table made quite a racket as it righted itself (with help) and I’m sure we did too. Suddenly I was aware of all eyes on us. I looked at Chris, my eyes and mouth wide open and there he sat with a shocked look on his face and wine starting to roll down his forehead, dripping onto his light colored shirt.  We both started to laugh at the noise, the attention, the wine and yes, the embarrassment. James rushed over and pushed another table closer for stability, he made sure we were ok and had enough napkins to clean ourselves off.  All good!

Recovered from the excitement and too full to try the Salted Caramel Appletini, we settled up and walked out of Batch into the night. I looked back as I crossed Washington Boulevard to see James cleaning wine off the window and floor; we had left our mark. We will be back, but maybe at a bigger table next time   😉

Batch 8631 Bar and Restaurant

8631 Washington Blvd.    Culver City, Ca.    310.202.8631
  1. MARTINIHUNTER! What a great idea for a website. I agree totally with your premise. We need more positive websites on food, and especially scopes on great cocktails. I weary of the rantings of the discontent on Yelp.

    I LOVED your article on Batch 8631. Having eaten there – I think you really nailed how great this new little restaurant is!
    Do go back and try some cocktails – I used to go to Church and State and Westside Tavern for Mat Gries’ cocktails – they are the best.
    I just spent a month in London, and had to try a Ramos Gin Fizz at The Ritz. It was half the size – cost 15 pounds ($25) and was barely drinkable. GO Mat! Who needs the Ritz!

    And GO MARTINIHUNTER – can’t wait for more articles!

    • Hi Louise!
      Thanks for your kind words; we’re working hard to bring more great stories to our fans. Stay tuned! We’re under development in areas across the country!

  2. Hi Toni,
    Thanks for your comment. On my visit Justina introduced herself to me as ‘one of the owners’. That has been corrected and thanks for the info.
    Thanks for the nudge, my assistant and I will pay another visit soon and I shall post, of course. We look forward to ‘bellying up’ and getting to know the cocktail side of Batch. I had planned to try the martini of the day on my visit but the wonderful food and wine had me topped off that evening. The bacon infused bourbon has definately piqued my interest too.
    I can see myself enjoying Batch and its offerings with some regularity in the future. In fact, one of our comments to Jason that evening was that we wished we lived within walking distance. What a great destination for an evening stroll!

  3. Great Website –
    Great if not quite accurate Article
    Only one question – How does a “Martini Hunter” not try any of the INCREDIBLE Cocktails at Batch?!?!

    • Hi Toni,
      Thanks for the great feedback. Our Martini Hunter preferred wine on this visit but has already stated that she’ll be back soon to sample the incredible cocktails.

      Tell us, which is your favorite?

      • My favorite is the Apple Blossom – no it’s the Raspberry Mint Julep – no – the Blackbird – I just can’t decide!

        • Hahaha! They all sound yummy! You should be a MartiniHunter, too!
          Have you signed up for email updates? And remember ourFacebook page goes live on 4/21, so stay tuned!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Enter your email address

Our Charitable Commitment

We enthusiastically support various non-profit organizations that are meaningful to us. If these charities resonate with you, please consider helping them with their cause – Tammy & Dave


By using the website, you acknowledge that you are of legal drinking age or 21 years of age, whichever is greater. is intended for use by responsible adults of legal eating and drinking age who seek new locations to enjoy a good cocktail. assumes no liability, either expressed or implied and makes no warranty regarding the business establishments referenced herein as your experiences and personal choices may vary.
As always, please drink responsibly.
wordpress blog stats