I'm a huge fan of Ford's Filling Station for standard American, K-Zo for sushi, Meltdown for sandwiches, or M Cafe for that macrobiotic thing... Beacon, which is overpriced most of the time, has excellent affordable lunch specials on Mondays and dinner specials on Tuesdays... and for a basic standard neighborhood joint, I love La Dijonaise -- it's not fine dining, but it's very, very affordable and good in an area that's becoming less and less so.
We love Culver City for cheap-to-moderate cost eats. On the upper end price-wise for tamales, but well made from good ingredients, nice salsa/condiment bar, Tamara's Tamales in MDR. Vegetarian Indian--take out or disposable tableware and inexpensive, homemade style, Bharat Bazaar (Samosa house); also veg. Indian w. a bigger, dosa/uttapam menu, Ana Purna.
When I think of Culver City, I think of Vic's or El Abajeno as it's called. Best hole-in-the-wall cafeteria style Mexican food for me. Not real fancy but the burritos are the best and humongous. Been going there since the mid-70s when the crowds were going out the door and onto the sidewalk.
I agree with all the recs others have already put out there. Culver City is a great place to live and eat in these days. As far as Korean goes (which I think is the only cuisine you mentioned that has yet to be addressed), I believe there is a new Korean BBQ place about to be opened in downtown CC--next door to (or very near) the also soon-to-be-opened Rush Street. I'm pretty excited for that.
Dijonaise (Washinton @ Helms) tends to get dissed or dismissed on this board, but we like it. Bistro fare for a decent price. Close to the best onion soup around ($4) and great deserts, also for about $4. One of my favorites is the crepe florentine that comes with a side salad for $8. Larger dinner plates are in the $14-18 range.
It is also super safe, there ofter are some of Culver City's finest dining there.
I also failed to mention La Dijonaise as I was focused on the OP"s stated preferences, of which French and Italian were not a part, but we really like La Dij as well. For extremely affordable French bistro style food, you can't beat it.
Good Italian in the CC area is Brunello Trattoria -- reasonable prices, very friendly service, good quality food. There's also Nove Cento and Giovanni's.
The OP could try Fassica for Ethiopian, on Washington across from the studios (cross street is Jasmine, I think?) and there's also Industry Cafe and Jazz which does Ethiopian, American and some ITalian, though we just ate there last week and found it less good than previously. It is definitley inferior to Fassica even on its best night.
wow, I really truly dislike La Dijonaise. Boring, low quality ingredients sandwiches, charged at a premium for the low quality that they are. Onion soup with three specks of brown on the cheese bc they couldn't bother to actually broil the cheese to make a real crust.
The big kicker: fast food lemonade: minute maid from a fast food soda dispenser, charged at $1.75!
As you are already finding out, Culver City is a good central location to live, and many of these recs show that. You can obviously search the boards for anything Culver City-related or for that matter any area in the Westside (Santa Monica, Venice, West LA, Sawtelle Blvd (in West LA), Brentwood, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey,etc.), but depending on where you live in Culver City, you might also be close to Palms, Midtown, Fairfax, Century City, and Beverlywood/Cheviot Hills/Rancho Park. Even Westchester, Inglewood, Melrose and the southwest areas of Hollywood and Beverly Hills are very accessible via La Cienega Blvd if you're living in 90232.
I don't know where you live in Culver City, but many of these Culver City recs are in what is called the "Downtown Culver City" area. This neighborhood in Culver City, which is approximately bounded by Overland, Venice, Culver and La Cienega, should keep you pretty busy with food. The epicenter is where Washington and Culver intersect, and it seems a new restaurant is opening around here every month or two. Many of these newer eateries can be a bit on the high side if you're considering daily eats, but defintely worth considering if you are looking for a $25-$50 meal. I would urge you to search out the smaller places further east on Washington, as well as off National, south of Washington. Beacon, Father's Office, Bluebird Cafe, The Pointe and a generous handful of other places are worth your attention.
Culver City also has one of the best stores for people who love to cook. Surfas, on the corner of National and Washington, is your one-stop shopping place for all great things related to cooking and eating. They tend to be expensive but the selection is hard to beat. Their recently added cafe is pretty good as well.
There's a fair amount of smaller restaurants along the stretch of Venice Blvd that is adjacent to Culver City. Most of these are inexpensive enough to eat at every day - a few have been mentioned already. Thai Boom, Gaby's (Mediterranean), Gloria's(El Salvadoran/Mexican), Bambu(Brasilian), Cafe Brasil(very casual Brasilian), Indian Sweets and Spices, Versailles(Cuban - get the pork), and Emerald Thai are a few that fall under the "everyday" category for most.
Taco trucks have been a hot issue as of late in LA County, and with good reason. The food on most of these underappreciated mobile diners is usually good to great, and a great meal can be had for what you'd spend for a double-half-caff-soy latte and crumbcake at Starbucks. If you are already into taco trucks, great. If you haven't tried them yet, you owe it to yourself if you truly enjoy Mexican food. My three favorites are (in Venice) La Isla Bonita on the corner of Rose and 4th during the day, La Oaxaquena on Lincoln south of Rose at night; Tacos de Valle on Venice and Grand View (Mar Vista). (I think the name is) La Playita on Glencoe Ave a long block south of Washington (MdR) has received favorable recs - I haven't eaten here in a while, but they've been on Glencoe since at least the early 80s.
Brick&mortar Mexican restaurants are plentiful in the general area. Taquerias are your best bet. They tend to offer most things that the taco trucks in the area offer and then some, usually have decent seating, and are sometimes adjacent to carnecerias which makes for an easy one-two punch for a meal now and one later that you can make at home, especially if you like to fire up the grill. Taqueria Sanchez has two locations (on Inglewood one block south of Culver, and Centinela, two blocks north of Culver); Tacomiendo (on Inglewood across the street from Sanchez, and on Gateway, east of Barrington), Taqueria Estilo Mexico (on Washington just west of Centinela), and Don Felix (on Sawtelle just north of Washington Place). I would also urge you to try Monte Alban on Santa Monica Blvd in West LA as well - great Oaxacan cuisine. And speaking of Santa Monica Blvd, you will find tons of reasonably priced eats on this street as well... Nook is great, and Le Saigon is decent Vietnamese albeit a limited menu.
You can find Korean on the Westside, but if you're used to the places in Koreatown or the South Bay, you will be yearning for those places. Wharo Korean BBQ on Lincoln just south of Washington is probably your best bet - they try to infuse as much organic/healthy into their menu and the ventilation is decent. An acquaintance whose wife is from Seoul considers this her best option in the Westside.
Sushi is good to great in the Westside. Many have already mentioned Sushi Zo, but also consider Kiriko, Mori and Bar Hayama in West LA.
I'm not sure how you define healthy, but Leaf on Washington is about as healthy as you can get - they do raw vegan - with this type of cuisine it is pretty hard to find a whole restaurant dedicated to this in general - but I personally call this place YUCK. Outside of their smoothies, I'm left perplexed as to how anything outside of undulates can frequently eat here. But to each his or her own... I tend to go to Soup Plantation in MdR when I get an urge for salad emersion; Tender Greens when I feel like having someone else do it for me.
Sandwiches have a pretty longstanding tradition in CC as well as the Westside in general. Victor Jr's on Washington is my favorite for Italian/sub types of sandwiches.
If you like phillies, you unfortunately missed Markie D's - they were recently sold off to Hoagies and Wings (or something like that). I've never been to Phillie, but I do know that Markie D's made some mean sandwiches, especially their steak and cheese with jalepenos. Their battered curly fries were great as well and their hot dogs were my kids' favorite. I haven't been back since the changeover but it may be worth a look.
Pastrami sandwiches in Culver City can only mean Johnnie's to most folks. I used to eat here a lot when I was 14-25 years old. It was much easier on the wallet, their hours were extensive, and it's one of the few places I could feel comfortable sitting next to and chatting with a CHPr while I drank a beer. You could still sip a brew while shooting the breeze with the local law enforcement, and the hours are still mammoth, but the prices have gone through the roof. Take this place for what it is - give it a try and decide for yourself. And if you're still hungry after one of their pastrami dips, an order of fries, and their pickles, you're a better man than me...
Most contend that the best sandwich for the everyday man in the Westside is at Bay Cities on Lincoln in Santa Monica. It's a stretch for a Culver City resident to do this place regularly. The drive is no fun - the 10 to Lincoln, turn right, and go a few more blocks of dense bumper-to-bumper. If and when you find parking, you're up to your neck in asses and elbows just pulling a number to get your order. Go to their website and you'll find alternatives to ordering in line. Why all this for a sandwich? The pay-off is worth the effort if Victor Jr's isn't doing it for you. I personally like both - just different styles - but Bay Cities' hours are wider - Victor Jr's seems to have stashed away enough funds from the (former MGM and now) Sony studio business across the street where they can take weekends off - bully for them!
Thai - great Thai - is lacking outside of Thai Town (east Hollywood) and North Hollywood for the most part. Keep in mind that like great Chinese, great Thai cannot be had in most of the world outside of their homelands, except here in SoCal. However, two places that come to mind are Thai Boom on Venice in Palms, and Ayara Thai in Westchester. A lot of praise go to Thai Boom, although I haven't cared for the past few meals I've had there. They seem to do rice dishes well there, but outside of that, I find their wok-work to be in need of more heat and less liquid. I personally prefer Ayara in Westchester. All of their food always seems to be made with fresh ingredients, is prepared well, not overly seasoned, and the atmosphere is kick-ass compared other local Thai places. The menu isn't huge but the offerings are good. Some prefer their noodles over their rice dishes, but their fried rice with shrimp paste or fried rice with crab are both very good. The curry list is typical for the most part - I like their penang and green. Their desserts don't seem unusual but they do offer great mango w/ sticky rice - mangos are humming right now - and their fried bananas go well with a scoop of either their coconut or Thai iced tea ice creams. Bust your diet - go ahead - we did and are still smiling...
Note some of these arent technically "Culver City" but near enough
Mexican - Taqueria Sanchez (very hole in the wall).
Sushi - Sushi Zo by far, not a fan of K-Zo personally.
Korean - None the I'm aware of. a BBQ place opening in downtown in a few months.
Sandwiches - Victor Jr for the greasy kind. Scratch for the healthy kind. Nothing really perfect at either IMO.
Healthy - Too many to list these days: The Point, Tender Greens, M Cafe de Chaya
Thai - Thai Boom is the board favorite, havent tried it.
Others worth trying - Akasha, Wilson, Beacon, Metro Cafe. Cafe Brazil, Cucina Paradiso (i believe is the name, Italian on Motor near national), Samosa House.
Welcome to the hood.
note that there are TWO taqurerias sanchez: one is on inglewood blvd, and the other on centinela.
they are both owned by the same folks. the one on centinela offers a sit-down experience with tables and chairs; this is the one that i prefer.
they both close very early in the evening.
Akasha was busy when we went but has a sort of bar/bakery stop-in area too... that looked like a comfy place to be (alone or with group) - nice environment. Portions were small but had a couple quite good things, including some sort of sashimi lettuce wraps and a wonderful Asian short rib (gorgeous Asian fusion, not standard fare) dish.
Hole in the Wall Mexican-- Tacos Don Jorge on Venice and Cattaraugus (used to be a taco truck). Typical gringo Mexican plates -- La Ballona on Main Street in Culver City.
great subs and NY style pizza -- Victor Jr's at 10113 Washington Boulevard (across from Sony Studios)-- these are close to Bay Cities Deli quality and much closer and less 'tude.
Greasy, fatty, thin sliced pastrami -- Johnnie's Pastrami on Sepulveda and Washington
Sushi -- OK sushi can be had at K-Zo (decent Asian fusion place) and Kaizuka, both in the heart of downtown Culver City. But for GREAT sushi, competitive with the best LA has to offer is at Sushi Zo, in the Von's shopping center (Cheviot Hills), next to Taco Plus. Oh, Taco Plus is OK for Mexican too -- more selection than Tacos Don Jorge, but not as good.
Healthy -- Tender Greens, The Point, M Cafe de Chaya just opened up in downtown Culver City.
I think Natalee Thai is OK. I haven't tried Thai Boom.
If Gaby's Mediterranean is still around on Venice, that's a great place, though service is very slow.
Kinda neat eastern european/serbian/continental cuisine -- Metro Cafe in the Travelodge Motel on Washington (yes the Travelodge). Fun, tasty and different.
Korean -- cant think of anything in Culver City.
K-Zo for sushi!!!
Akasha is new and good
Ford's Filling Station
Fathers Office 2.0
If you're a Titos fan, Titos Tacos
Thai isn't really good anywhere on the westside, but Thai Boom is okay
Meltdown Etc. for sammies (mixed reviews on here)
Tender Greens for healthy salads (again if ordered carefully)
Joni's for good breakfasts and lunches
If you head over to Venice,
Firehouse has healthy fare as it caters to Gold's Gym folks
26 Beach for healthy salads (when ordered carefully), sandwiches, burgers
In Marina del Rey,
Up in Santa Monica,
Bay Cities Deli for sandwiches
Monte Alban for Oaxacan
Tacos Por Favor or Tacomiendo for tacos
Kreation Organic Cafe
Sure others will give you lots of other wonderful suggestions.
It's pretty good. I like the salads, particularly the chopped. I've only been twice, so we'll see what happens when I venture out more onto the menu. My friends liked their kabobs, salmon and hummus. I agree the name is totally cheesy, but the staff is sweet and helpful. The service was okay, friendly enough to make up for a little overlaidbackness, with the only real issue I had the first time was eating on the sidewalk and having people walking or dawdling by, but of course, you know that's the case on Montana. So stick to the back patio.