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Culver City - Lunch Help

Recently moved from Hollywood to Culver City. Need to find some lunch places that are good, but not too expensive. Good day to day places that aren't too crazy. I love Ethnic Food so feel free to make suggestions.

Been to:

Tara's Himalayan - very good and cheap. The owner is very nice. I can eat there for around $10.

Tender Greens - Love it, but the crowds are insane. It's hard to relax there for lunch.

Jasmine Market - had some pretty good Burmese food there, not much atmosphere.

Pho Show - pretty weak VN food. Will give them another try.

The Point - Good salads but there is street construction and they are a parking nightmare

The Round - Good sandwiches, which are a little small. Lose the whole "round" concept and give me a bigger sandwich.

Any other places?

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  1. and try Giovanni's at Clarrington and Venice. Great Italian. And for yummy simple salads, give Scratch at Hughes and Washington a try.

    1. There are a lot of inexpensive places for lunch in Culver City. Here are some of my favorites:

      Victor Jr.'s -- on the north side of Washington across from the studio. Street parking in front or nearby usually easy. I like their eggplant parm sub, their meatball sub, their Italian salad. Their "philly cheesesteak" is more a hot roast beef and cheese hoagie, but good. Very friendly folks.

      Thai Boom -- on the north side of Venice at Midvale, midway between Overland and Sepulveda. Street parking in front and a shared small lot in back. My favorite Thai on the westside. They'll spice it up if you request hot. Go with the chicken or shrimp, the beef can be tough. I like their yellow curry lunch special.

      Hu's -- a bit north of Culver City in Palms or Cheviot Hills, but close. On National where it makes a 90-degree turn, a couple blocks east of Overland and north of Palms. Easy parking in their lot or on the street alongside. My favorite $6.95 lunch special, with a cup of hot'n'sour soup, a refreshing Chinese chicken salad, and an entree -- my favorites are the twice-cooked pork (without tofu) or the kung pao chicken. Their eggplant is good as well, but gets oily and monotonous if you aren't sharing. A huge, satisfying lunch for slightly under $10 including tax and tip.

      Other faves: S & W for breakfast at lunch. Honey's Kettle for fried chicken -- get the 2 for 1 coupon in the entertainment magazine of Thursday's L.A. Times and go with a friend. My favorite taquerias in the vicinity would be Taqueria Sanchez on Centinela between Washington and Culver (fantastic shrimp tacos) or Gallego's on Venice just west of Centinela (barbacoa). Hoagies and Wings on Washington a block east of Sepulveda has parking in the back and is good for hoagies and wings, though I still miss the former Markie D's for cheesesteaks. Finally, don't overlook the In-n-Out on Venice or one of the few remaining Togo's in the complex with the Albertson's on the north side of Venice across from Wendy's and Smitty's -- I love their hot pastrami or the #8 roast beef, turkey, and cheese.

      You can have a big lunch and get out for less than $10 at every place I've mentioned, including a good tip. At some of them this even includes a soft drink.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        re: thai boom--
        i also recommend all of their salads, and their prik pao. also, for a small charge, they will allow you to substitute brown rice for the white.

        1. re: nosh

          You should defly take down Hu's address so you can make sure you never go there

          1. re: echoparkdirt

            hahahahaha . . . what was wrong with Hu's for you?

        2. Skratch for sandwiches and salads on Hughes between Washington and Venice across from the WaMu parking lot. For Cuban food, try Versailles on Venice near Motor or El Rincon Criollo on Sepulveda, 1/2 block north of Samy's Camera store.

          1. Gloria's Cafe for very good Salvadoran and Mexican food. Nice, family run place with friendly service.

            Gloria's Cafe
            10227 Venice Blvd @ Vinton Ave
            Los Angeles 90034

            1. Simpang Asia for great Indonesian food. Indo Cafe is across the street, also Indonesian, but I like Simpang better. And Hu's is in that same weird intersection.

              Also, there's a Guelaguetza in Palms.

              1 Reply
              1. re: slacker

                This reminds me, I've been meaning to mention: my daughter recently used Indo Cafe to cater a small get-together at her apartment, and everything was delicious! It was just appetizers, so she concentrated on the start of the menu. I particularly liked the Martabak Telur and the perkedel...They delivered promptly when promised, with dishes at the proper temperatures. Fit with a student's budget as well.

                Anyway, Indo Cafe has now become one of her neighborhood favorites. The only thing on the menu she doesn't like is the avocado milkshake, and after she brought me a sample one night as a thank you for babysitting World's Greatest Grandaughter so she and hubby could actually get out and eat an actual meal together (as if I need a thank you) I have to agree: way too sweet for my taste, with an odd, sort of gummy texture.

                One big reason that she prefers Indo Cafe to Simpang Asia is that the former is halal, while the later apparently isn't and doesn't consistently promise that only halal meat is used (so she is limited to vegie options and seafood/fish at Simpang Asia). Along those lines, no alchohol served at Indo Cafe.

                However, I don't share that restriction, so will try Simpang Asia soon and compare for myself. Thanks for the recommendation!

              2. For Indian, Annapurna (Venice just W of Jasmine) or Samosa House (Washington Blvd W of the DMV)

                For Ethiopian, try Fassica (Wash/Motor) or Industry Cafe (Wash. E of Helms complex).

                There is also the hot dog cart at Helms... And Cafe Surfas...

                OK, I'm done.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: CulverJack

                    second your samosa house recommendation.
                    also, it should be noted, that samosa house is about to open a second location across the street from sony studios (i believe washingon and overland).

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Exactly Washington and Overland . . . they have improved their timing on getting food out, like samosas, and rotis included with meals, but they do that by heatlamps. I haven't decided if the trade-off is worth it.

                      The only bad thing about Samosa House is you have to wait for the customers ahead of you to finish, and often people take ridiculously long times to decide. You might pay $8something for the meal and then also add to your bill the 10 minutes for some girl to decide several times between the lentils and potatoes--because eating potatoes that one time might make her obese--and then she ends up getting both, including times when she doesn't realize it's her time to order or that she is still in line (I know that's an awfully specific example, as you might guessed it actually happened to me, and not just once but several times, similar experiences).

                  2. This is an old thread, but a lot of it is still relevant. It helped me a lot when I started work here.
                    Some of my favorites include:

                    Giovanni's Italian
                    Tender Greens
                    Victor Jrs
                    Cafe Surfas


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CarlieInLA

                      I agree. This is the first NY style pizza in this area that is worth eating. It is as good, or better than Mulberry St in Beverly Hills, but more reasonable prices.

                    2. I just went to LaRocco's Pizzeria today and it rocked! I wish I lived nearby as it would be an awesome neighborhood NY pizza place. I think the just opened today.

                      LaRocco's Pizzeria
                      3819 Main St
                      Culver City, LA 90232
                      (310) 837-8345

                      1. Cemitas Poblanas - delicious sandwich from the truck that is parked in front of Smart and Final on Venice west of Clarington.

                        1. Gaby's Mediterranean is open again too.

                          1. Have you tried Jackson Market. Great sandwiches, it's located on Jackson, South of Culver Bl, in a neighborhood. Tito's is also solid, and reasonable.

                            1. An older post being revived but no mention of Metro Cafe on Washington Place (Serbian/Euro) or Simpang Asia (Indonesian) that is actually in the Palms neighborhood on National.

                              Simpang Asia
                              10433 National Blvd 2, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                              Metro Cafe
                              11188 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90232

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                Replying >1 year later, so I hope you've by now already discovered the yummy Serbian cuisine at Metro Cafe.

                                1. re: J.L.

                                  if you're going to bring up metro cafe, i have to add that their burrata starter is absolutely terrific.
                                  also, even though this doesn't speak to the 'lunch' theme of this thread, they make honest-to-god crepes with the right amount of egginess (ok, egginess isn't a real word, i guess, but what else to say?)

                                  also, check if you plan on going on a monday. that used to be their day off. may still be.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    I am thinking that Monday at Metro was only off for dinner and not for breakfast or lunch. Am IIRC I wonder?

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      dunno because in the last year or so i've only been going for dinner.
                                      at lunchtime i need to be in and out of a restaurant faster than most make-the-food-to-order places like metro can realistically deliver.
                                      (for lunch i often go to samosa house because the stews/dals/and bean dishes take hours to make so they have to be cooked ahead of time.)

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        Took a look and, if you can believe their website, they are indeed open on Monday's for breakfast and lunch but closed for dinner.

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          They don't actually take hours to make haha (especially with pressure cookers and such--I am pretty sure Samosa House use them) . . . but yeah I think that's a consideration also. If it's cheap, but takes a long time to make it's not really a day to day place. On the other hand, you should also try calling in orders. I don't know if Metro does that.

                                          1. re: apple7blue

                                            i've been in the kitchen at samosa house.
                                            they weren't using pressure cookers.
                                            they were simmering the beans and lentils for hours.
                                            your guesses about how they cook are incorrect.
                                            keep in mind that i'm a regular there.

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              Maybe incorrect, but it doesn't mean they have to be cooked hours ahead even still. Take mung dal, split mung dal, lentils, etc etc etc, if you cook it for hours you will get disgusting mushy stuff. I have been going to Bharat Bazaar when the auntie who used to run the place would pick me up and give me Amar Chitra Kathas--being a regular there doesn't really make a difference to how long you have to cook lentils. I don't know why you were in the kitchen for hours watching beans and lentils simmer, but they were probably keeping them warm not cooking them. But I will keep in mind you are a regular . . . with a pressure cooker, you can make dal in minutes, just wait till the whistles, and count it off for your mom or auntie. Even if you don't have a pressure cooker, it still doesn't take hours. Try it yourself.

                                              1. re: apple7blue

                                                i have made lentil dishes myself, cooking them for less time, and they don't taste as good as they do at samosa house where they are cooked for longer periods of time.

                                                also, lentils are absolutely not the only legumes they cook. why are you presuming that i was only referring to lentils?

                                                at any rate, i hope that you don't take it upon yourself to give them advice about changing their cooking methods to yours because i like the way the food tastes the way they make it.

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  I have been there a couple of times since. I asked them about cooking different beans, lentils, legumes, or whatever you want to call it. They told me they cook it for as expected. So I don't expect it to change. I don't know if they were telling the truth, I didn't prompt them, and I don't really care to be honest, because I also enjoy the savory foods there.

                                                  Haha I can't really speak about your cooking . . . Going back to this thread, one criticism I have for them is that their prices are fairly expensive. However, not for their combination plate--which is perfect for this thread. Also, I dislike I have to ask for the raita if I get the food to go, otherwise they will not include it. On the otherhand, they often give me extra food unprompted if I order items or even the combo plate.

                                                  There is a web review about this, but India Sweets and Spices on Venice is quite cheaper. I think though adding quality into the judgement makes it a more 'expensive' proposition. Also the samosas at Bharat Bazaar are more like I am used to, and I do prefer them. You get greater quantity of food for the samosas at India Sweets and Spices, but the those large fat Punjabi samosas taste kind of gross to me--I don't know if familiarity is effecting my judgement. There are other Indian restaurants nearby, but you can get quick food at these places.

                                                  Another cheap and ethnic place that I also like is Annapurna on Venice on the opposite side of the street from India Sweets and Spices, actually sort of across from Smart and Final. Their lunch buffet is $6.99. I don't know if its been mentioned in this thread before, but it has definitely been reviewed on this site.

                                2. I've always liked Grand Casino Bakery. Argentine food & baked goods. Fun little place


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: grendel20

                                    2nd for Grand Casino.

                                    And of course Cafe Brasil, the best!

                                    1. re: QualityMart

                                      Stay away from Grand Casino if you cherish your waistline. :) I'll throw my vote to them as well.

                                  2. Joyce's pizza and subs in the shopping center with Ralph's on the corner of Jefferson and Overland. Really good deal . . . like 18" subs for $8 taxes included, very decently sized pizzas for decent prices . . .

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: apple7blue

                                      It might be a good deal, but are they good sandwiches?? I can't say it's ever appealed to me and I live really close by. That whole shopping center seems to brim with mediocrity - Marlar Chinese-Thai (doing neither well), the sushi place (ok sushi, passable bento boxes), the always-empty Indian place (again, totally forgettable, at least when I had their take-out).

                                      My top CC picks for cheap/ethnic for lunch so far:

                                      Mexican: Pepe's on Venice/Centinella (haven't tried Tacomiendo in a while though)
                                      Mexican II: Cemitas Poblano truck (mentioned)
                                      Middle Eastern: Sofra on Venice e. of the 405
                                      Thai: Swanya on Sepulveda so of Culver (the best of a really poor selection?)
                                      Indian: Mayura on Venice/Motor
                                      Pizza: Brunello Trattoria on Washington
                                      BBQ: JR on La Cienega

                                      10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                      Pepe's Tacos
                                      4582 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                                      Brunello Trattoria
                                      6001 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                      Sofra Kabob Express
                                      10821 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                      4324 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA

                                      1. re: cant talk...eating

                                        Just as an aside on Marlar Chinese-Thai. They are halal as well as having an area for prayer, so for Muslims, it's a nice and convenient place to sample these cuisines without hesitation.

                                        1. re: cant talk...eating

                                          It can't be a good deal if it's unedible. It's decent. 18" for $8 of warm filling food--melted mozzarella filled with green peppers, mushrooms, olives, onions in a toasted bread is worth it in my opinion. Fact is--shopping center makeover or not--the place is an unappetizing place. But its cheap food, and it's not bad food--I wouldn't say its great food either though.

                                          1. re: cant talk...eating

                                            Swanya is a newish little Thai place almost across from Pho Show at Sepulveda and Culver Blvd. Convenient for take-out and kind of a pleasant little sit-in place for a quick bite.

                                            1. re: cant talk...eating

                                              have had two very nice lunches at Sofra Kabob Express lately; good food, Turkish run, very friendly, and a shaded patio.

                                              Was at Tacomiendo a week or two ago and it was as good as my last visit perhaps eight months earlier...

                                              11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                Sofra is on our rotation for a filling meal. They don't skimp, the owner is friendly, lots of folks from the Middle East endorse this place, but the big screens could take a break now and then. Still - solid kabobs.

                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                  that's funny...I never noticed the big screens. Guess I am a bit oblivious. But then, both times I've been I have been with my toddler aged granddaughter, and she tends to take up my attention. The place is also very kid friendly, and they have high chairs.

                                                  I like the falafel sandwich: not the best I ever ate, but very good, and generous portions. I also like the dolma, but then I am a sucker for dolma.

                                                  It is halal, btw, and next door to (and shares an exit with) a large halal market.

                                          2. I always like going to the cafe in Surfas to get a quick sandwich or salad.
                                            I've had two bad experiences at Ugo. It looks like a fun place to sit outside, but the food and service was very disappointing. I only went back the second time because I was invited by someone else who chose the place.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: NatKal

                                              I like Surfas, but it is expensive at least to eat my fill . . .

                                              1. re: apple7blue

                                                Dunno what your limit is, but I love the burger and salad at Surfas - both really good, and that's as much lunch as I need.

                                                I also have had two fine lunches at Akasha. Not cheap, but if you can drop $15-20 now and then they have nice stuff, and a calm, beautiful room.

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  how much is a burger and salad? I usually get two paninis there--like two grilled cheese sandwiches, with the included salad. Get an orange juice or a drink and I am already at more than 20 dollars. Having eaten a sensibly sized meal . . . They have very limited hours to get stuff like from 11 to 3pm--sometimes they have sandwiches ready before. Anyways, like the OP, I think less than $10 sounds reasonable with a decent sized portion. I want to go to Akasha, since they have been open in fact, somehow I have never made it in. I like though that compared to say Joyce's Pizza and Subs, the food at Surfas feels better for you than there. If their sandwiches were bigger or they included two for the price that they currently charge for one, they'd be perfect.

                                                  1. re: apple7blue

                                                    I have not had a two-sandwich lunch since I was 16. I cannot imagine wanting more than one, though I suppose it's possible; I remember going to some AYCE places in Nashville and marvelling at the human blimps hovering around the steam tables. I would insist that for an adult of normal appetite Surfas Cafe offers a solid lunch for the price.

                                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                                      Maybe it is an age thing and height thing. I am in college and 6'3", I used to do a lot of sports. I'd say I am active, but sedentary compared to when I played sports on an active ongoing basis. Either way, I only weigh 180 pounds. I know that what I eat and say even a female classmate 5'8" is very different. I figure you have to use appetites like mine as the baseline, because if you eat less than you are good cost-wise--but sooner or later you are going to go with someone like me. In fact, most every guy except a few in my peer group eats the same amount, even the shorter guys. Normal is relative, and creating a normative portion size, you'd have to take the average + the larger deviation because you want to include most everyone--using a bit of statistical logic.

                                                      Surfas sandwiches aren't even that big. They are smaller or equivalent to small sizes at Quizno's, subway's, and Togo's.

                                                      I generally see "human blimps" as eating more than me or living a very very sedentary life.

                                                      I don't know maybe you are right, and in my freakish world we are asking for enormous portions for very little money. While you are perfectly healthy eating portions based on spending smaller prices . . . haha

                                                      I see a lot of people my age going to Del Taco, and that's not something you really want to admit on Chowhound. I figure income level has something to do with what you consider cheap. I found it's cheaper to go to Chipotle, and get a burrito bowl, have them pile everything on and get a tortilla on the side. You can make the normal burrito you would order, plus have a bowl of food leftover. Two meals for about $6something. It's a good day to day solution, sort of ethnic . . . For people like you who eat smaller portions than me. You could probably eat for a day and maybe even breakfast the next day for the same.

                                            2. Did anybody mention Mariscos Chente yet? Please search Chowhound for threads about it - wonderful little Mexican seafood spot just down Culver and then slightly north on Centinela, and it'll be on your right.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Cinnamon

                                                gotta say, that to me, mariscos chente is much more than just a 'wonderful little mexican seafood spot.'
                                                to me, their food is phenomenal.
                                                needless to say, i more than concur with your recommendation.

                                              2. One of my new favorites is Green Peas at the old Vinoteque space... they have a variety of sandwiches which come with a choice of fresh housemade soup or mixed greens salad. A steal for the $7-8 they charge... I recently fell in love with their Prezel Bread... SO good


                                                And they also have a curry chicken salad which is like nothing else... for that, I like it in a wrap. :)

                                                The only bad thing I have to say is that they tend to over dress salads... so ask for that on the side...


                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Dommy

                                                  Fraiche is soooooo good and it's cheaper option at lunch instead of dinner (pricier)
                                                  Beacon's bento box is a smashing good deal with 5 different small portions boxed up all pretty (including miso marinated black cod- yum!)
                                                  Cafe Brasil on Venice (or washington) has 2 locations and a 7 dollar "executive" lunch with pork chop (or other options)
                                                  Taro Sushi on Washington behind the Best Buy is more like take out but its really cheap,high quality sushi, we order it take out for lunch all the time.
                                                  Yogurtland!!!!! Huge fruit and yogurt for $4 is a nice lunch (you can pop 1 or 2 few steamy buns first from Famima.
                                                  If u have cash, check out tokyo 7-7 diner (strange hours though, read about this place first)
                                                  Kay and Daves Cantina has some good lunch deals and its a relaxing patio atmosphere.
                                                  I love the sandwiches at Cheviot Farms deli (but that place is more take out, alas)
                                                  Gonna think of more as soon as I post this!

                                                    1. re: sarahbeths

                                                      Please give further details on LUNCH

                                                2. It's not exactly CC, but Ugly Roll in Palms is pretty cheap for sushi. $6-9 range. It's on Palms & Sepulveda at the end of the Wells Fargo shopping area. It's not Nobu, but it will fix the sushi cravings without breaking your wallet.

                                                  11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA