Mija’s handcrafted dishes are delightful

(Photo by Brett Callwood)

Everything about Mija Handcraft Kitchen feels very special. From the conservatory-esque, greenery-heavy decor (inside and out) to the extremely warm waiting staff, you feel very warm about the Mija experience right from the get-go.

“Chef and owner, Katherine Gonzalez, was raised in Southern Arizona,” reads the online bio. “Her mother’s family migrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, and her father’s family from Spain. Growing up, there was always a pot of beans cooking, freshly made flour tortillas, salsa, and sopas fideo. Every celebration featured warm and delicious comfort food including her mother’s famous tamales, chips, and fresh salsas.”

That love and attention to detail is apparent in everything about Mija, especially the food. Open culinary journey began with the Stuffed Squash Blossoms from the small plates section of the menu. The two blossoms are formed from farm zucchini, blooms, oaxaca cheese, green chile, white corn, beer batter, and tomatillo sauce.

The two lightly fried blossoms have a sweetness that beautifully counters the light grease. The cheese and corn spills out when you cut in, and blends perfectly with the green chile and tomatillo sauce. It really is a glorious combination of ingredients.

Next we were presented with the Mushroom Barrata Toast. Burrata is an Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, and here it sits atop thick brioche toast, and a mushroom medley swimming in a balsamic sauce. Arugula, thyme and tomato finish off a dish that manages to be both hearty and delicate.

Chef Katherine told us that the dish is a twist on the classic avocado toast, and the rich balsamic-drenched mushrooms really do make it fascinating.

Finally, we had house made chips with shredded chicken, green chili and a poached egg, the latter designed to spill yolk over the dish when you cut into it. This really was the star of the show – the combination of the elements resulting in something quite sensational. In particular, the yolk and chili coating the chicken is spectacular. The chips, meanwhile, are perfectly crunchy and full of flavor.

“Katherine’s love for heritage-inspired dishes began at a young age while cooking with her mama,” they say. “After years of watching her mother in the kitchen, Katherine began learning how to make her signature tamales, chips, and salsa.”

Trust us, it shows.

Mija Handcraft Kitchen is located at 4130 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90230. Call 310-751-6407 or visit mijahandcraftkitchen.com.