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Trying BottleRock tonight. Any other suggestions nearby?

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kotter Oct 5, 2006 05:46 PM

Decided to give BottleRock a shot tonight. Couldn't think of anything else halfway between downtown and Sanata Monica. Are there any other places in Culver City if BottleRock turns out to be a bust? Thanks.

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    NAspy RE: kotter Oct 5, 2006 06:04 PM

    Lots of 'em. On Main Street, right next to BottleRock is Nove Cento, a cute little Italian place with pretty good food (definitely better than Ugo, also in Culver City). On the other side of BottleRock is La Ballona which has serviceable Mexican. Both of these places serve wine and beer.

    Other trendy newcomers are Ford's Filling Station and Tender Greens, on Washington in downtown Culver City, K-Zo, serving sushi and asian fusion (I had a very good meal there a few weeks ago and definitely prefer it to Kaizuka, on Culver Blvd. across from City Hall, though Tim Robbins is apparently a regular at Kaizuka), and Wilson, which is further east on Washington Blvd. in the MODAA Building at Washington and Sherbourne.

    This area is bursting restaurants right now. There is also Bistro de la Hermitage, which is adjacent to Kaizuka on Culver Blvd. Homey, warm atmosphere (with outdoor seating as well) and good French bistro food.

    Further east on Washington, out of downtown CC is La Dijonaise, also French, very reasonable prices and good Franco-American food. They are in the Helms Bakery Building on Washington and directly across the street from them is Beacon, probably the first of the trendy foodie places to drop anchor in Culver City. Beacon is also Asian Fusion.

    In terms of pricing, Beacon , Wilson and Ford's are at the high end and IMO a little overpriced for what you get; K-ZO a better value but still somewhat pricey; and the others pretty reasonable.

    Have not eaten at Bottle Rock, but based on the wine prices, my guess is that it is also somewhat pricey. You may want to know that the LA Times just reported that BottleRock's chef (last name Travi) has already left and the replacement is pending.

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      peanut112 RE: kotter Oct 5, 2006 06:13 PM

      Just as an FYI, don't take Jason Travi leaving BottleRock as a sign of problems. He was only ever going to be there for a short period of time during their opening to ease the opening stresses.
      BottleRock is actually not that pricey. If you look at their 3 glass flights, compared with some other places, they aren't overly priced necessarily.
      P.S. they have some amazing beers!!!! at 9% alcohol, no less.

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        slacker RE: kotter Oct 5, 2006 06:32 PM

        The small food menu at bottle rock consists of "bar snacks" which includes selections of charcuterie and cheeses; salads; and panini. I've had several of the bar snacks and the heirloom tomato/burrata salad. All good.
        What's really nice is they will open a bottle of whatever you want to try, not only those wines listed on their menu. They sell wines, so have a fairly good sized selection, and nice selections at that.

        I don't like Ford's but everyone seems to think they need to go there, so it's quite bustling. Wilson is very good, and Beacon is good too, and love the carefully cared for lettuces and other top quality ingredients at Tender Greens. I also like Novecento a lot, homey northern Italian, very comfortable.

        If you want to move on to another wine bar, you can head over to Upstairs 2 at the Wine House.

        1 Reply
        1. re: slacker
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          Diana RE: slacker Jul 17, 2007 08:55 AM

          You know, I went there, and asked them to open a bottle of something not on the list, as I read in here, and the guy working there said "we don't do that, if I open it, you have to buy the whole bottle". he then tried to prove his manliness by out beer knowledging my husband "Have you tried_________? We have _____, no one else does!" (liar, lots of places carry the beers there)

          AS my husband is style master of the oldest continuous homebrew club in the US, as well as super beer geek, Mr "we don't do that" sorta ended up at a loss. My husband wasn't ride, he'd just tried all of it, and more. he even came back with some suggestions, "yeah, that's good, but I prefer __________, or _______" He wasn't involved in the pissing contest, he actually thought the guy was interested in beer as opposed to looking good. Me, I kept my mouth shut.

          When he found we were not easily dazzled by his limited offerings, he sort of lost interest and wandered away-just like that. I had sort of wanted to do a flight anyway, wheter they open other bottles or not, but he just walked off. He seemed to style himself the owenr or manager

        2. k
          kotter RE: kotter Oct 5, 2006 07:21 PM

          I read in the LA Times that the chef had left, but then does a wine bar that serves charcuterie really need a chef?

          1. k
            kotter RE: kotter Oct 6, 2006 01:09 AM

            do u think we'll reservations at novecento?

            1 Reply
            1. re: kotter
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              NAspy RE: kotter Oct 6, 2006 01:18 AM

              Probably not on a Wednesday, but the area has become quite bustling recently, so it wouldn't hurt. The place is small -- maybe 12-15 tables?

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              rob_nicholl RE: kotter Jul 16, 2007 09:07 PM

              LOVE bottlerock!! great place to try new wines and amazing cheese plates. service is really nice as well....friendly and helpful. I chose 3 cheeses from the selection to taste. One with truffle and honey, one called the bermuda triangle, and one goat cheese. paired with the wine, it was a great evening. oh, and the other night I tried their new grilled cheese.....out of this world!!! It's a must.

              1. q
                QualityMart RE: kotter Jul 16, 2007 11:36 PM

                Does anyone else think it's ridiculous that Bottle Rock charges a $10 corkage fee if you order a bottle? Is that standard for wine bars? Restaurants don't charge a different price for to-go vs eat-in orders, why should a wine bar?

                This fee, which the waiter didn't mention at all, was enough to cause a group of 5 I know to swear they'd never go back. It's not like they didn't ALSO order food AND leave a tip.

                5 Replies
                1. re: QualityMart
                  SauceSupreme RE: QualityMart Jul 17, 2007 01:44 AM

                  I didn't notice the $10 corkage for ordering a bottle. I thought that as long as you ordered two glasses, they'd open any bottle.

                  1. re: SauceSupreme
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                    glutton RE: SauceSupreme Jul 17, 2007 06:15 AM

                    Yes, that is the policy -- they'll open any bottle provided you commit to buying two glasses. That seemed like a really fair deal to me.

                    1. re: SauceSupreme
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                      QualityMart RE: SauceSupreme Jul 17, 2007 08:25 AM

                      That's if you order by the glass. I'm talking about ordering a bottle with a group of people.

                      1. re: QualityMart
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                        glutton RE: QualityMart Jul 17, 2007 12:30 PM

                        On Saturday, I ordered a bottle of cava and they charged me exactly what it said on the menu, so I did not see the $10 corkage fee. I guess I am confused by your complaint...

                        1. re: glutton
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                          QualityMart RE: glutton Jul 17, 2007 10:43 PM

                          Well, I just called them and whoever answered confirmed that there IS still a $10 corkage fee for all bottles consumed in house. One of the posts above said something about how you get $10 off if you take a bottle "to go", so maybe they are now switching how they list their prices and are adding the $10 by default, to be subtracted if necessary.

                          If that is the case, that is at least better than them sneaking the $10 on top of the listed price which is what they were doing for as long as I was checking the place out. (Haven't been in at least six months.) But still, I declare shenanigans on this practice. Do other wine bars do this?

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