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Let's Do Lunch: Sundays at Waterloo & City

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There are some great lunches to be had in this town, and we want to celebrate the midday meal. So, let's do lunch, shall we?

Lunch is often the prime territory of Monday to Friday--that tasty midday break that separates the first part of the workday's drudgery from the second. Weekend lunch is eaten, but less discussed, partly because many restaurants opt to serve brunch and not lunch. But Sunday Lunch is a British staple (also known as the Sunday Roast) which serves as the main meal of the day.

One British import that's making waves in a City called Culver is Waterloo & City, a cheeky gastropub serving up Sunday lunch from 11:30-3 p.m. A menu melding savory egg-centric fare and mains of iconic British fare, Waterloo & City's Sunday is a great introduction to this "neighborhood spot."

Recently we were invited to check out Waterloo & City's Sunday Lunch. It was our second trip to the restaurant that was once the Crest House Family Restaurant on Washington Boulevard. Executive Chef/ Proprietor Brendan Collins and GM/ Proprietor Carolos Tomazos, both seasoned restaurant vets, transformed the space into something slightly more upscale but also very cozy. A room on one side has a sign declaring 'Wreck Room' on its door--inside a pool table, couches, dartboard, and--ohhhh, yes!--a classic Pac Man tabletop game. Hang in here with your drinks and grub ordered at the bar, and it's like your parents' basement circa 1986. Good times.

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Sunday Lunch showcases Collins' reverence for nose-to-tail cooking, a trend borne of necessity and frugality that is experiencing a joyous renaissance lately. Starters like the Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Mousse ($11) or the Duck Country Pate ($10) allow diners to indulge in the rich, intense flavors for which these ingredients are cherished. On their dinner menu, a broader sampling of cheese and meats--charcuterie--are available, and can be combined in a variety of selections. If you are feeling regal, opt for the be-all end-all: The King's Selection ($32) and be blown away bite by bite by the sumptuous, earthy, lush selection of terrines and other offal. And if you are feeling incredibly bold, come back for the blood cake. (Read more about that here.)

But we've digressed from the issue of lunch. If you are feeling brunch-ish, their hash dishes are hearty affairs of egg, meat, and potato, served in a skillet. The Eggs in Purgatory includes a mildly spiced tomato and lobster hash with eggs, while the Corned Beef Hash is savory and topped with poached eggs in Bernaise. Despite the meat-intensive charcuterie, there are several vegetarian options; on our Sunday the Frittata of the Day was a veggie-laden affair, and the potato pancake (the menu's label as "Latke" too much of a stretch, however) topped with poached eggs, avocado, and pico de gallo would make many a meat eater not think twice about missing their ration.

The mains are mostly British classics, but do what a gastropub ought to, and turn up the culinary volume on pub fare and the old familiar. Seasonal veggies and fruit infuse the menu with our hallmark Southern California bounty, and are best exemplified in dishes like an Arugula Salad with Grilled Figs, for example. Sticking to more traditional mains? The Roast Beef is eye-wideningly huge and visually stunning at first glance--almost larger than life, but also thankfully simple. Shepherd's Pie and Fish & Chips are on the menu, of course.

If you managed to save room for dessert (and/or eschewed the temptation to gobble down their house-made pastries like the pain au chocolat et al) the Sticky Toffee Pudding is--our table companions attest--the way to go. Having eaten the sweets at the start, and thus forsaking the space later, for us the way to go is to go back for a Sunday Lunch, replete with a refreshing Pimm's Cup, and give it a go.