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Culver City updates, especially sushi, Thai or vegetarian?

My daughter, a UCLA transfer student, just found her LA place to live, in Culver City (a compromise between what she wanted to spend and how far she was willing to drive to school. As it turns out, there is apparently pretty good bus service from her area to the campus)....

anyway, it will soon be time to start figuring out how to maximize my business trips to that lovely campus, so that I can combine them with dinners out. I'd like to impress her by knowing more about her new neighborhood than she does!

Here is the most recent thread I found:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

any more recent updates or suggestions? She loves Italian, sushi and Thai food, has been eating mostly seafood and vegetarian options lately (diary is fine), and doesn't drink . Looking for both places that suit a student budget and the occaisonal splurge in case I do manage to get down there on a per diem...and for the splurge cases, a good wine by the glass list would be appreciated (for Mom!). She isn't big on Mexican food, but I am...

Coffee Houses, markets, specialty food shops, especially for Middle Eastern ingredients, would also be appreciated...Thanks for any leads!

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  1. I'll start with a couple.

    Surfas for market/specialty food shop.

    BlueBird bakery for sandwiches, salads, and CUPCAKES.

    1. for vegetarian, inexpensive, indian food:
      Samosa House [formerly Bharat Bazaar] 11510 West Washington Blvd Culver City, CA

      1. It's a pretty good neighborhood for reasonable eats, though some places I like aren't liked by others here.

        There is a Cuban place on Sepulveda (El Rincon, I think) that has good chicken dishes and good Cuban sandwiches.

        Sorrento's Italian Market has a nice deli counter for meats and cheeses and has been in CC forever.

        Try Gaby's on Venice for Middle Eastern. I like it fine, though I think some here on the board don't dig it as much. I wouldn't drive 20 miles for it, but it's fine for a neighborhood spot.

        My kids love Villa Italian on Sepulveda. I'm sort of picky about the service and don't eat a lot of pasta, so I don't go there much, but others love it. The pizza is supposed to be good, too.

        The Metro on Washington Place has Serbian food and is otherwise a much better than an average diner diner.

        Speaking of diners, I eat in Ronnie's Diner on Culver more than I eat in any other restaurant and it isn't even close. Great, healthy diner fare and great breakfasts.

        Tito's Taco's gets a lot of play on this board. It's on Washington Place. It's sort of an LA tradition that some swear by and others don't get at all. Very inexpensive tacos.

        I'm running out of time here (kids aren't up) so I've got to stop. Let me just throw out Tanner's Coffee on Sepulveda for a good place to study. There is tons of great Mexican in the area, but she doesn't dig Mex, so I didn't mention any.

        Finally ... she's living in between UCLA and Loyola Marymount. She might like to check out Marina Del Rey on weekends for movies and other things. It's sort of the LMU hang out area and lots of college students are around.

        Tell her congratulations on getting into UCLA!!!

        Paul F (UCLA '85)
        (married to a Bruin, with two Bruin sister in laws and two Bruin brother in laws ... not to mention all the cousins ... welcome to the family)

        7 Replies
        1. re: PaulF

          YAY! Another UCLA family member reporting! :) And I moved to Culver City this fall and am loving it! :)

          That's a great list Paul! I have to add one more Italian rec, Giovanni's on Washington near overland is great! :)

          --Dommy!

          1. re: Dommy

            Hehe - go Bruins! Did y'all discover these places in college? I wasn't a Chowhound until I became Bruin alumni!

            Where were your faves at UCLA?

            1. re: chica

              howdy fellow bruins! :D

              i, like chica, did not discover CH until i graduated. at the same time, i began to develop better taste buds.....as can evidenced by the following quick list. my favorite places to eat back in school was falafel king, cowboy sushi and versailles............man have my tastes changed since college.

              1. re: chica

                Most of my faves are gone and the mods frown on nostalgia threads.

                But of the ones still in WW, I like Falafel King, Fatburger and Sepi's sub sandwiches.

              2. re: Dommy

                I simply ran out of time and neglected Giovanni's.

                It's a must if you like Italian, though a college student might find it a little pricy.

                We also haven't mentioned the many great Mexican places in the area because this new Bruin doesn't enjoy Mexican. But Tacomiendo, El Abajeno, Sanchez are all worth a trip and there are many more, too.

                BTW - I can walk to the original Tacomiendo, but have started going to the other one in WLA because it is right near the park where my kid has practice. It's just as good -- had two carnitas tacos last night.

                And -- and I didn't know this until my wife told me -- did you know that Tacomiendo has a pot of free beans to help yourself to alongside the salsa bar? Dang, now I have to go back ...

                1. re: PaulF

                  Yeah!! They got a mention in LAT yesterday for that pot (And BB/SH got a mention for their fried to order Samosas! Whee!! :)) ... they are TASTY too. Also, they got the free pot of beans at Taqueria Estilo Mexico. Again, REALLY tender and tasty! The only problem is at both places, they give you TINY condiment sized cups to fill with beans. Ask for another plate when ordering for the beans! YUM!! :)

                  1. re: Dommy

                    I have friends who call Taqueria Estilo Mexico "Dollar Taco" and they absolutely swear by it.

                    I've lived nearby for a few years now and oddly enough haven't gone in. Every time I think of it, I can't find a parking spot out front.

                    Incidently, the OP should consider Sakura on Centinela for Japanese. I've only been once and it only earned a shrug from me, but it's popular and some on this board have had some nice things to say. I'd call it "neighborhood" sushi as opposed to "destination" sushi ... but we're talking about a college student here.

            2. Natalee Thai is not too far from Culver City on Venice and is great Thai (you'll find more threads about that on Chowhound) - esp. the beef panang curry.

              On Culver in the cutesy downtown of Culver City is a casual, streetside cafe-type French place called Bistro de l'Hermitage - that's a must. It's next to or at least within a block or two of Ford's Filling Station I believe.

              1. Culver City Sushi (Best Deal) - $2.00 for 2 piece Nigiri, $3:00 rolls. Bad news I think lunch only M-F:

                California Sushi Academy

                http://www.sushi-academy.com

                Culver City Sushi - Read the creatively writen multi-pictured review:

                http://thedeliciouslife.blogspot.com/...

                Middle Eastern Market - If she is traveling by Bus with an unlimited, or multiple, use pass and going down Westwood Blvd., then she can stop off at:

                Jordan Market
                1449 Westwood Blvd. - 4 blocks south of Wilshire, westside
                (310) 478-1706