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Changing Jobs, Culver City Lunch Spots?

CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 08:19 PM

I am changing jobs to Culver City and although I have eaten around there before I know many new restaurants have opened up. What are some good recommendations for lunch time? I love all types of food. I have already been to Beacon, La Dijonaise, Honey Kettle's, Le Hermitage and Tito's Tacos. Any other lunch places that I should try out?

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  1. w
    WBGuy RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 08:25 PM

    Surfas Cafe, Blue Bird Cafe, the taco truck near Natalee Thai, Keizo, many of them are withing walking distance of downtown.

    1. b
      banjoboy RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 08:52 PM

      I second the taco truck near Natalee Thai (on the north side of the street, right in front of the Smart & Final). Also head over to Samosa House / Bharat Bazaar on Washington, just a few blocks west of the 405.

      1. Will Owen RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 08:58 PM

        We enjoyed Ford's Filling Station (next door to Honey's Kettle), though it's a bit above our usual lunchtime price range. I loved the burger ($14) and lusted after the huge fish & chips ($16).

        We used to go to Ballona on Main whenever we were in CC at lunchtime - okay Mexican, pleasant room, nice people, cheap enough. It's kind of bland, but sometimes a bowl of abondigas soup and an enchilada or whatever is just what the creature needs. This creature, anyway.

        There's been some activity today on an older thread about Metro, across from Tito's, a place that looks very much worth investigating. Combination diner and Serbian. No info about prices...

        3 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen
          Jesdamala RE: Will Owen Jan 17, 2007 02:19 AM

          OHHHHHH, forgive me, but Ballona is simply dreadful, although you are right about nice people and cheap. I cannot imagine how they have stayed in business all these years, other than they have been there for years and years, and before the recent build up of CC and influx of some wonderful places to eat....and perhaps own the building. Simply the worst Mexican in the area.

          1. re: Jesdamala
            slacker RE: Jesdamala Jan 17, 2007 08:55 PM

            Completely agree re Ballona, it's horrid. And Ford's continues serve good quality ingredients that are poorly executed.

            1. re: slacker
              bulavinaka RE: slacker Jan 18, 2007 03:53 AM

              What's with Ford's? Probably the most inconsistant place on earth... And loudest too!

        2. s
          sweetTooth RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 09:03 PM

          Annapurna for South Indian, Taste of India for stuffed breads (parathas) and cheap lunch combos, Cooks' Double Dutch Dinette: www.cooksdoubledutch.com, Gaby's, Wilson: http://www.wilsonfoodandwine.com/food...

          1. PaulF RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 09:11 PM

            Culver City is a big place, actually, extending from where Washington hits the 10 freeway to the east almost to Marina Del Rey to the west. And within the 90230/Culver City zip code are parts of technical-Los Angeles that might as well be Culver City.

            I wrote a post today about Metro Cafe, read that.

            There's El Rincon Criollo, for Cuban on Sepulveda.

            There's Roll N Rye on Sepulveda for "Jewish" deli.

            Sorrento's on Sepulveda is a fine Italian market for sub sandwiches.

            Petrelli's is not a great steak, IMO, but makes a very good bar burger. Order it with grilled onions and a cold beer or cocktail.

            S&W makes really good corned beef hash and eggs. It's on Washington.

            For cheap, cheap Mexican and even burgers at a very quick pace there is Cinco de Mayo next to Tito's. It's underrated.

            Mi Ranchito, Taqueria Sanchez, El Abajeno, Don Chuy's and Tacomiendo all have something to recommend them for different Mexican items. I've never been, but folks like Don Felix as well. You can search the board for addresses to any of them.

            For Hawaiian coffee shop food including good burgers, egg royales, pork and loco moco, there's Rutt's on Washington.

            Giovanni's is one of our favorites for Italian.

            Fish and Chips and Shrimp and Chips and even hot wings are great at Smitty's for a fast lunch.

            I do like the other places mentioned in this thread and I bet others have many more.

            1. Dommy RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 09:13 PM

              Great list so far!! I have to add Venice Bakery... So just brought me some of their Potato Balls for lunch and I was in HEAVEN... :)


              1. m
                Marvin RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 09:19 PM

                I'd suggest Santa Maria BBQ, which is near City Hall - I think they slipped a notch or two when they moved from their previous location across the street a year ago, but they're still pretty good. Dry rub BBQ.

                Also, there is a good cheesesteak place on Washington just east of Sepulveda - Markie D's Taste of Philly. Food is good and worth going to at least once to see all the Philly sports memorabilia.

                Santa Maria Barbecue Company http://www.santamariabbq.com
                9552 Washington Blvd, Culver City CA 90232
                Tel 310/842-8169 Fax 310/842-8456

                Markie D's Taste of Philly
                11172 Washington Boulevard
                Culver City, CA 90232-3922
                (310) 839-0776

                1. PaulF RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 09:21 PM

                  I agree with Markie D's -- I forgot to include that in my post above. Good sandwich.

                  Gaby's, too, is another place we go to.

                  1. j
                    jazmin RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 10:26 PM

                    not sure if this is too far, but when i worked in culver city, i'd hop on the 90 and exit centinella, go down a block and there was 'go veggie'. the most amazing salad bar i've ever seen. it's not big, but what they have is quality. the garlic/soy/lemon juice tofu is incredible. also next door is marina farms, i get lost in there.

                    1. CarlieInLA RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 11:39 PM

                      WOW so many options! I can't wait to go exploring. Thank you for all the recommendations. Dommy - is Venice Bakery Cuban? Are those the potato balls you are talking about, if so, I am there.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: CarlieInLA
                        Dommy RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 12:16 AM

                        I am not sure if it's a PURELY cuban bakery, but they do have cuban pasteries... I loved these balls better than the ones at Portos! They were bigger too! :)


                        1. re: Dommy
                          CarlieInLA RE: Dommy Jan 17, 2007 12:24 AM

                          GREAT! I love Porto's, so I am sure I will be very happy to have some lunches at this place. :-)

                      2. o
                        Obessed RE: CarlieInLA Jan 16, 2007 11:40 PM

                        Tender Greens in downtown Culver City is a great lunch spot. For fancier lunch, I'd recommend Wilson's.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Obessed
                          julietg RE: Obessed Jan 17, 2007 01:00 AM

                          I love Tender Greens. One tip- call first, so you don't have to wait on line.

                          Same goes for Bluebird Cafe, which I recommend over Surfas. Yes, I love Surfas. Yes, I ate lunch there today. BUT. I find the menu a little limited. And don't go for breakfast. Go to La Dij (and call ahead).

                          Oh and my other regulars:

                          Famima (next to Best Buy, Overland bet Venice and Culver)
                          Victor Jrs (on Culver next to Sony - CALL AHEAD)

                          Plus the Sushi place next to Trader Joe's is supposed to be quite good, if pricey.

                        2. w
                          writergirl RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 12:10 AM

                          Grand Casino! It's an Argentinian bakery/empanadas place that also has sandwiches and salads. Their lunch special is the best deal in CC $5 for two empanadas and soup. Very filling, bonus if they're serviing the black bean soup. Mmm! It's on Main St. Where in CC will you be working? As someone said, it's a big place. Sometimes with the drive to various places you barely have time to eat...especially with some of the slower places (Honey's Kettle and Gaby's in particular.)

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: writergirl
                            CarlieInLA RE: writergirl Jan 17, 2007 12:23 AM

                            I will be at Sony so on the corner of Washington and Dusquene. Pretty close to downtown CC.

                            Thanks for the rec. I absolutely love empanadas so I have to try this place out too!

                            1. re: CarlieInLA
                              writergirl RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 01:45 AM

                              You might want to stick to the places in downtown and the eastern edge of CC (La Dij, Beacon, Bluebird Cafe, Surfas) I find it easier getting to the east side of town rather than to the places toward the Marina. Also, I don't know if anyone mentioned Indian Sweets and spices on Venice near Main St if you like Indian. It's a tasty place with a funky vibe.

                              1. re: CarlieInLA
                                julietg RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 03:57 AM

                                Up the street from you, on Main between Culver and Venice

                                is the farmers' market- you can walk from work

                                Every Tuesday till 4

                                (sorry for not thinking of it earlier, but I spent all day today thinking it had been Monday)

                                in fact, you can walk to right into downtown to:

                                Coldstone Creamery
                                Trader Joes (and the aforementioned, adjacent shushi place that i still don't know the name of)
                                Honey Kettle
                                Tender Greens (fish and salad and mashed yukon golds, mmmmm)
                                Victor Jrs (great chopped salad, excellent housemade ranch)
                                Santa Maria BBQ
                                Ugo's (take it or leave it, but there is no affordable Italian in LA, so fuggedaboudit)
                                Pacificos (do NOT do take out with the fries. they must be eaten immediately)
                                Daphne's (see above fuggedaboudit)

                                or over to the shopping center on Overland and Washington to:

                                Another Coldstone
                                California Pizza Kitchen

                                and for these you'll need to get in the car:

                                In N Out
                                Bluebird Cafe (get a cupcake, too)
                                La Dij
                                Roll N Rye
                                Sorrento's Italian Market
                                Natalee Thai
                                India Sweets
                                JR's BBQ
                                Surfas Cafe (take money if you like to cook and shop while they make your lunch. take lots of money.)
                                JJ's Cafe

                                How was Hermitage, btw? (did I catch you not reading to the end?)

                                1. re: julietg
                                  bulavinaka RE: julietg Jan 17, 2007 04:18 AM

                                  If you like Daphne's give the place on Sawtelle, just west of Jefferson a try... Can't remember the name, but it's - IMHO - much better... Looks like an older couple from the old country making the food patiently - polite way of saying they do take a little longer - but very good. Not overly salty like Falafal King, and not so McDonaldized like Daphne's.

                                  1. re: bulavinaka
                                    aliris RE: bulavinaka Jan 25, 2007 05:48 PM

                                    Oh Oh Oh -- you must mean King's. The man's name is King and he is indeed Greek and I think his stuff is absolutely delicious. I've been loving his falafal (sp?) for a dozen years and his schwarma (sp? sorry!) is also just delicious. Plus, he's about as nice and gentle and sweet a man as you could ask for. I alsways leave there feeling so good! Though be forewarned, it may take you a while to leave there; he's not the speediest cooker in the world. Call ahead if you can! Though that's not even a garantee!

                                    1. re: aliris
                                      westsidegal RE: aliris Jun 21, 2007 09:35 PM

                                      if you're talking about the place on sawtelle near sepulveda/jefferson, gotta disagree about the food.
                                      truly awful food.
                                      boy did i WANT to like this place.
                                      just couldn't choke down the stuff.

                                  2. re: julietg
                                    CarlieInLA RE: julietg Jan 17, 2007 04:23 PM

                                    WOW..thank you for all the amazing recs.. I will spend months trying to get to all of them. Hermitage is good. I usually get this sandwich called "Cheval" which is ham, melted swiss cheese and a fried egg. Its really decadent and delicious. Salads are good too.

                                    1. re: julietg
                                      Dommy RE: julietg Jan 17, 2007 08:13 PM

                                      LOL! I forgot about Famima! It's great for SUPER fast and when you are wanting to break out a rut....


                                      1. re: julietg
                                        julietg RE: julietg Jun 21, 2007 05:33 PM

                                        It may have been mentioned somewhere else, but I think it bears repeating.

                                        Tender Greens is now taking orders online!! No more waiting!! You can order and pay online, then just pick up your bag in front of the register!


                                        1. re: julietg
                                          anothernotch RE: julietg Jun 21, 2007 09:12 PM

                                          Agreed. JR's makes great BBQ. I would also suggest Rockenwagner Bakery (Washington Blvd.) as well as Samosa House (also on Washington).

                                        2. re: CarlieInLA
                                          westsidegal RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 04:53 AM

                                          if you go north to venice blvd and turn left (going west) you can take advantage of the many inexpensive lunch plates served at Thai Boom. the quantity/quality/ price ratio can't be beat.

                                          THAI BOOM
                                          Thai Boom
                                          10863 W Venice Blvd, Los Angeles 90034 Btwn Westwood Blvd & Midvale Ave Phone: 310-842-8291

                                        3. re: writergirl
                                          bulavinaka RE: writergirl Jan 17, 2007 04:25 AM

                                          Yes - this place is where probably every Argentinian ExPat within a 10 mile radius comes through at least a few times a week.. Great lunches, empanadas, sandwiches de miga, and those alfajores... can't beat it with a great cup of jo... the only things missing are a barbeque pit and malbec!

                                        4. r
                                          Rummy RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 02:14 AM

                                          The Bluebird Bakery. Great soups, good salads and sandwiches.

                                          Cafe Laurent. Decent frenchy food.

                                          Thai Boom has a great green mango salad.

                                          1. k
                                            kproq323 RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 07:16 AM

                                            On Main Street there is a little Italian Restaurant. Been there for years and run by a sicilian family. They have great lunch specials for under $10. Right above Venice in the heart of the downtown district on the west side. Forgot the name but it's really good. If you want to drive, Bambu Brazilian Cafe is pretty good on Venice Blvd. Also if you are going all the way to Rutt's, you can't forget about the Outdoor Grill. Get your car washed while you eat some Turkey Chili. There's also the food court inside the Japanese Market off Venice and Centinela. A little pricey, but good. I also go to the taqueria kiddy corner across from Mitsuwa and have great carne asada tacos for $1.00. Can't beat the deal.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: kproq323
                                              miffy RE: kproq323 Jun 21, 2007 09:01 PM

                                              Inside that Mitsuwa you will find Santouka ;) Other places next to it is not bad at all

                                            2. w
                                              WEkhardt RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 07:31 AM

                                              Take Manchester west to Lincoln and turn right. Alejo's Presto Trattoria 8343 Lincoln is a great lunch spot. Shrimp Diablo, great pasta, fresh hot bread, great soups, amazing prices. Hope your office isn't offended by garlic.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: WEkhardt
                                                westsidegal RE: WEkhardt Jun 21, 2007 09:39 PM

                                                1) this spot is really far from sony studios
                                                2) unless raw chopped garlic soaking in oil rings your bell, the food is certainly not worth the trip.

                                              2. m
                                                MareZeeDotes RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 03:18 PM

                                                Novocento (Italian place next door to Ballona) does decent fare for lunch. Love their polenta.

                                                3837 Main St
                                                Culver City, CA 90232
                                                (310) 842-3838

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: MareZeeDotes
                                                  lilygirl RE: MareZeeDotes Jan 17, 2007 03:25 PM

                                                  also try the pannini pollo ... and mushroom soup ... very generous soup portion.

                                                2. CarlieInLA RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 04:24 PM

                                                  Thank you all so very much for all the great recs. I am looking forward to trying out all of the great new places!

                                                  1. PaulF RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 05:27 PM

                                                    Speaking of Indian -- and I think somebody was -- Somosa House on Washington is damn close to excellent.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: PaulF
                                                      westsidegal RE: PaulF Jun 21, 2007 09:42 PM

                                                      not only is the food consistently wonderful, but the people are lovely too.
                                                      their jackfruit is amazing.
                                                      their chana is terrific
                                                      their paneer dishes are wonderful
                                                      i love their kidney bean dish
                                                      and on and on and on

                                                      also, since all the food is preprepared, you can get in there for a weekday lunch and still get back to your office on time.

                                                    2. p
                                                      purediva RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 06:25 PM

                                                      Hooray for this post! I just started my new gig at Jefferson/Duquesne in Dec. and have hit only 60% of these spots so far. I second (or third or fourth) Bluebird (eat there at least once/week), Surfas, Tender Greens, Wilson, etc.

                                                      Where is Venice Bakery?

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: purediva
                                                        Dommy RE: purediva Jan 17, 2007 08:10 PM

                                                        On Venice, near Overland, it's a small store front.


                                                      2. l
                                                        luv2dineCA RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 09:28 PM

                                                        If you're going to be at Sony you will surely be introduced to 2 yummy places in the next block, between the Kirk Douglas Theatre and Starbucks....Double Dutch which is fresh and filling and a pleasure, and right next door is S&W which is traditional diner fare loaded with comfort food. I work at City Hall and have tried everything in a 4 block radius. I am particularly fond of Tender Greens when the weather is nice. Ford's is better for cocktails than a meal.
                                                        When there's time to drive, Cafe Laurent on Overland is way yummy as well as La Dijonaise on Washington at the Helms block. Other favorites are The Bluebird Cafe on National, Roll 'n Rye on Jefferson and On Higher Grounds on Washington. No excuse for going hungry around here!!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: luv2dineCA
                                                          CarlieInLA RE: luv2dineCA Jan 17, 2007 11:11 PM

                                                          I am glad to hear there are so many place within walking distance, that makes it all the better! thanks.

                                                        2. p
                                                          purediva RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 10:48 PM

                                                          Does On Higher Grounds actually serve food or are the just a coffee spot?

                                                          1. p
                                                            purediva RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 11:00 PM

                                                            Had the empanada special for lunch today @ Grand Casino. Tomato soup was nice and tasty, but I must report that the empanadas were pretty dry and not so flavorful (had the beef and the spinach). Gotta say that Empanada's Place not far away on Sawtelle & Venice has GC beat on taste and selection in terms of empanadas anyway.

                                                            Since I didn't finish my empanadas, I indulgently took a ham & cheese croissant and a mini custard croissant back with me to the office. Now them's some tasty carbolicious goodness!

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: purediva
                                                              Dommy RE: purediva Jan 17, 2007 11:06 PM

                                                              The BEST empandads at grand casino are the Chicken... the rest as you noted were kinda bleh... I like Empanada's place, but they are all fried and are REALLY heavy....


                                                              1. re: Dommy
                                                                writergirl RE: Dommy Jan 18, 2007 01:36 AM

                                                                I love the chicken empanadas at Grand Casino, and like the spinach ones a lot. Empanadas Place are just too heavy for me. (I wish they weren't the restaurant is charming!) To each his/her own! :)

                                                                1. re: Dommy
                                                                  bulavinaka RE: Dommy Jan 18, 2007 04:00 AM

                                                                  I second that on the fried empanadas... for every one of the fried ones I eat, I can eat three of the baked ones... okay - I'm lying - I'll still eat three of either one... How about those alfajores at either place?

                                                              2. Eat_Nopal RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 11:18 PM


                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                  julietg RE: Eat_Nopal Jan 17, 2007 11:32 PM

                                                                  that's a post for mar vista...not sure why you are adding it here?

                                                                  I've never had time during my lunch hour to get past the 405...dunno about other people...

                                                                  1. re: julietg
                                                                    Eat_Nopal RE: julietg Jan 18, 2007 02:06 AM

                                                                    From Culver City to Mar Vista s/b no more than 10 minutes, if you plan strategically (head for lunch at 11:30 etc.,).

                                                                2. p
                                                                  purediva RE: CarlieInLA Jan 17, 2007 11:33 PM

                                                                  Oh yeah, what about X'otik Kitchen on Washington? Great food although limited in seating area.

                                                                  1. s
                                                                    SallyHMcC RE: CarlieInLA Jan 18, 2007 12:35 AM

                                                                    I was in the area and had a DELICIOUS lunch today at WILSON. I ate a fish stew, with scallops, halibut, and shrimp in a tasty broth, with some leeks and a rice patty (they called it a rice cake, but it was really just a round mold of rice, green with parsley). My friend had the vegetarian plate of the day, which was a roasted acorn squash filled with quinoa, with mushrooms and leeks in a broth. Loved it - can't wait to go back and try some of the great-sounding salads.

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