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The Point -- Culver City

The Point has just opened at 8522 National Blvd. This is Kazuto Matsusaka's second place after Beacon. It is apparently quite near the Blue Bird Cafe and specializes in homey fare like meatloaf and mac 'n cheese. I look forward to trying it later this week and will post. All are welcome to beat me to the punch.

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  1. Here's their website. The website is a little annoying to look at, but more importantly the food looks promising! http://www.thepoint-la.com/

    4 Replies
    1. re: writergirl

      Wow, that is quite possibly the most annoying online menu I've ever read! I agree with you, the food sounds very good. I can't wait till someone reports here about the mac n cheese.

      1. re: hrhboo

        It's like reading with a magnifying glass.

        I felt like Sherlock Holmes.

        "My dear Watson, I think the Ancho Chili Chicken Salad Wrap killed the man."

      2. re: writergirl

        "The website is a little annoying to look at"

        Are you kidding...the website just really pissed me off!!! It's f---king irritating!

        I also called to find out exactly where it is since I 'm burnt out on the happy hour slider at Beacon, and I'm broke for being so in love with K-Zo...the people who answered the phone were totally clueless!
        Ugg, from what I could quickly glimps on the menu, I would love to do the whole make your own salad...I'll let ya'll know tomorrow cuz I've gotta head to NIKE for class tonight.
        Wish me luck!

        1. re: tatertotsrock

          You made me laugh out loud! I guess I've seen worse websites...at least they included the prices. As for location, it's on National down the street from Bluebird, heading toward La Cienega/Jefferson. It's definitly a little hard to find. I wish I could remember what the nearest cross street is, I think it's two blocks down from Bluebird.

          I tried the chicken pannini today, it was good, the olive tepanade added a nice flavor, but I love olives. I also liked the bread. I looked at the prepared salads, the Cesar grabbed my attention because it had nice anchovy filets on it! I hardly ever see that on Cesars at carry-out places. I also had an overly sweet peanut butter cookie sandwich (two p-butter cookies with p-butter in between.)

      3. Thanks for the news! Will have to run over there soon. "Bento Box of Salads"--interesting.

        1. Boy! That menu IS a big pain!

          Food looks good!

          1. I ate there today. This place is hardly a destination; it's a high tech cafe catering to a small business park. Nonetheless, given its lineage, it's excellence was not surprising. I had a breakfast panini and coffee. Both were superb. They seem to be very focused on custom-made salads. There is a nice area in front for outside dining. In all, this is just a great place for a quick bite if you find yourself in the neighborhood.

            Street parking is a problem, but they validate in the lot on Haywood (sp?), just west of their location.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bob Brooks

              I went to the site- but saw no menu....Am I missing something? I was all good and prepared to be annoyed. But it just says coming soon.

              1. re: kellydeez

                They must be watching, they took it down.

                1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                  Menu is still there.

                  Check your browser configuration.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Hi ipsedixit,
                    It's down...I called to get directions just before posting and I mentioned what a pain the sight is...the girl wasn't thrilled...she also had no clue how to give directions...she kept saying things like: just go straight.
                    I asked: straight from which direction. She had no idea where I was coming from and that's not a good combo since I had no idea where I was going.
                    I then said: well, get me there from Beacon.
                    she said: turn and you will see it.
                    Ugg! She didn't even say right or left.
                    I'll cruise by before my class at NIKE and report back before tomorrow.
                    Wish me luck.
                    They need to fire their web designer.

                    1. re: tatertotsrock

                      There are more than a few web site designers who need to be taught some human factors by my Baseball Bat!

                      For your direction finding convenience, Google map inside:

                      Point Cafe
                      8522 National Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                      1. re: tatertotsrock

                        Yeah, you're right. Website no longer works for me.

                        Power to the Chowound, I guess, eh?

                        Do report back and good luck.

              2. Ok everyone...

                The Verdict:

                It was GREAT!

                As you can tell by my last post, I was pretty much ready to hate it...couldn't hate it if I tried.
                Such a cute, clean place with places to sit outside that kindly ask that you keep the area non-smoking. Just from that, I was already in love!
                It was bizarre walking through the door cuz there is on of thos really loud, over head fan things that sound like your gonna have a Silkwood moment and are being sent to the decontamination chamber.
                Anyway, take your time when you go...there are so many choices and they all look good. I tried not to get distracted because I had already planned on doing the "custom crafted salad" thing....really great chices to choose for your salad goodness...then, I was blinded by the butterschotch pudding smiling at me from behing the little glass door...then the bottles of beer and wine demanded that I take a peek at them...ugg, trying to focus, I then found all the "Prepared Meals to Take Home" they looked incredible!!! Fresh, Hearty, even Healthy without looking all granola-tree-huggin'.
                writergirl, I saw those anchovies and I'm gonna get a hold of 'em on Sat, for sure! Oh, and the cross street is Hayden.
                So many choices, I got my salad with a simple "Country Mix" of Red Oak and Green Leaf lettuces, Cheddar Cheese, Hard boiled egg, and dried cranberries. BEAUTIFUL!
                Then I grabbed this great little treat that I just finished...Three Grain Salad...AMAZINGLY refrshing and delicious...it has quinoa, Faro, Basmati Rice, Lemon,Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sherry Vinegar, Raisins (golden), and dried cranberries.
                Golly, it is so good.
                and the Pudding...too much of a good thing...I ate the whole thing, really good...and I love the spoons. I got the food to go because I had to get to class, but couldn't resist eating some puddin' first..between the flufffy whipped topping, the super-rich butterscotch, its super-smooth texture, and the fabulous spoon (I have a thing for really great plastic spoons and this one rocks...I think you'll understand), I've fallen in love.
                I will go back on Sat after my class and try some other things and maybe grab the to-go meatloaf.
                The service was very friendly. The place is super organized and clean and they have great waters, beers, splits of red and white wine, Naked Juices and Naked Juice Protein drinks and all kins of other goodies.
                All the savories, salads, to go items and beverages were so great that I ignored all the other sweet treats (and there are tons of 'em) except for that pudding...I haven't had puddin' in years.
                DiveFan ,
                "There are more than a few web site designers who need to be taught some human factors by my Baseball Bat!"
                Now, I got a good laugh from that! Thanks!

                Hope y'all like it too!

                2 Replies
                1. re: tatertotsrock

                  Holy sh!t!!!

                  I just found something to make me love them even more!!!
                  I was just putting away the rest of my 3 grain salad and the rest of the huge salad (it's about 3-4 servings) when I found this little bag of crisps...I think they are parmesan or something...they were in the same type of envelope that my fork/spoon/napkin came in and I almost threw it out when I felt something in it.
                  What a tastey late night surprise!
                  So yumm, crispy and good! they really would have gone great on my salad had I noticed.
                  So, heads up, if you get a little brown envelope, check it out for these special little treats!

                  1. re: tatertotsrock

                    Great report - I guess you give this place a thumbs-up! I couldn't agree more about the spoons. It's usually not an issue with metal spoons. But when the portable stuff comes into play, you can end up with plastic spoons with razor-like edges or wooden spoons that alter the taste of what you're eating. I'm surprised that alot of places that offer these utensils don't give it alot more thought. The tactile sense one gets from a spoon while it glides along your tongue is almost as important as the otherwise silky smooth treat that it is delivering. Matsusaka-san is obviously paying attention to all of the little details in his new place - hopefully he'll do the same for his website. I had a couple of brews earlier and clicked onto their site - my eyes felt like they were on Mister Toad's Wild Ride. If one has a propensity to motion sickness, do not scroll over their menu...

                    Speaking of brews, do you recall what kind of beers they had there? They've disabled their previous site so no info is available... Thanks again for a great review.

                2. You know, I called them on Thursday to say, "the food on the online menu looks great, I can't wait to go-but the online menu is a real pain."

                  The woman who answered said, "You know, you're like the third person to tell me that. I think we're gonna do something!"

                  I imagine they got lots of calls and comments!

                  1. Does anyone know if they (The Point, Culver City) are open Sundays? I would like to go tomorrow and try their foods.
                    Thanks to all!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: lvgoodfood

                      Just to follow up on the above web site comments, I think I'll call them and ask them why they don't at least have their ***Phone Number and Address*** on the 'under construction' home page. ROFLMAO! BTW this info is in the Place link - score CH 1, Point 0.

                      1. re: DiveFan

                        YA THINK?? Put the address and phone on the construction page. geesh. But of course I can get that info here, yeah chowhound.

                        But I will also be the dissenting voice. I thought their now-rejected online menu was fine, it was just like I had it in front of me, that's how your eye would focus anyway.

                      2. re: lvgoodfood

                        No, they area not open on Sundays.
                        Here's their info:
                        8522 National Blvd. Suite 100
                        Culver City, CA 90232

                        Mon-fri 8am-7pm
                        Sat 8am-3pm
                        Breakfast 8am-11am
                        Lunch 11am-close

                        So, I went for breakfast yesterday. Got a breakfast panini.
                        It was good. A great crunch to the bread...I think they don't salt their food in order for us to have control of our salting/peppering. No big deal. The panini came with a pretty salad of mixed green with a fabulous dressing...only somehthing like $5.95

                        Here's the booze info that was requested:
                        Lager, Pilsner Urquell $3.95
                        Lager, Sam Adams $3.95
                        Blond Ale, Manabru Italy $4.25
                        Fat Tire Amber Ale $3.95
                        Rosso, Moretti Italy $4.25

                        There a quite a few half bottles of white and red wine to choose from too...I think the most expensive is only $11...pretty goood selection too.

                        Go to taste the asparagus soup and it was PERFECT!
                        I will try more soups next week.

                        1. re: tatertotsrock

                          Thanks so much for replying, I really wanted to go today.
                          Anyway since the 5 freeway is closed maybe is better that I don't leave SCV, but there's almost no good places to eat around here.

                      3. went yesterday for lunch to try it out. Had the chicken panini and a miso soup, both were perfectly fine and I enjoyed them. The place is basically the local lunch place for the office park there though, it's good food and since I live in the area I'll go back but I would by no means travel to go there.

                        1. Got the Bento Box Salad--love it!
                          4 salads and a bit of some sort of spread made with parmesan:
                          Red beets/sour apples/candied walnuts/dried cranberries/blue cheese
                          Broccolli/cauliflower/cashews/golden raisins
                          Eggplant/zucchini/yellow squash/sundried tomatoes (all grilled, with a nice charred flavor)
                          Tuna salad.

                          All of this going on in one bento box! Great flavor combinations and variety, big medley of colors.
                          Plus that happy surprise of parmesan crisp in a separate bag.

                          I'll be a repeat customer for sure!

                          1. Hey guys--the menu is a pdf file--look at the center of the toolbar immediately above the menu and adjust the number to 100%.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: addieblue

                              Uh, the site has been updated since the previous poster. Now they have all of the info that I need, despite the 'coming soon' banner. No ugly flash, scripting or distracting nonsense - Hooray!

                            2. I have been twice now and really like it. The salad process appears a bit confusing at first, but then, once done, you feel dumb for feeling confused. It is SO easy. And delicious and clever. I say clever because one can conceive of coming practically every day and experiencing something different.

                              I also liked the simple, but appropriate selection of 3 whites and 3 reds. All decent quality (I had the Cote du Rhone) and all fairly priced and ALL half bottles. I only hope, in this HOT weather, that they consider adding 3 rose/rosados/rosatos (hey, there`s a thought) when we hit next summer.

                              One complaint: it would be nice if the Point folks, on their website and with a handout, explain the parking/driving situation. As much as I loved it, it is pain when one wants to travel west on National. If you do not explore that little side streets, you have to go all the way to La Cienega to turn back! Also, there appeared to be very, very scarce street parking in front of the store. It would be nice if they would explain where to park in busy times. (Bye the bye, I solved the going west problem by taking three immediate rights that get you on Hanley or Hadley (?) that then let`s one go left at a light on National.

                              Please, `hounds, do not let this discourage you, though. It is a terrific place, a terrific idea, quality food, nice service, and a shady lunch spot. They deserve a couple of tries, at least.

                              1. Things everyone should try:
                                • Any soup - they are all tasty, particularly the Squash versions. I'd had people in my office exclaim out loud after the first bite. Truffle Mushroom is amazing, and the Miso is fresh and wonderful though I haven't had it in a long while because of the other soups!
                                • The BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
                                • Pork Shoulder
                                • Turkey and Brie Panini
                                • Anything that Kazuto recommends (seriously - he has suggested things and my friends have ordered - EVERY time I regret not following his advice).
                                • Lattes with Intelligentsia beans - plenty of caffeine...

                                And Beacon - I'll post under it about the great meal I had there...