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What is good and interesting in and around Culver City?

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asugar Aug 25, 2008 07:46 PM

Where are the finds in Culver City?

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  1. Phurstluv RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 01:38 PM

    Love Fraiche, tho hard to get into at last minute. Wilson's was good, not spectacular. Ford's is good, not great & pricey. Tender Greens is awesome, tho don't know how late they're open and no bar. Beacon was also very good. Not into Akasha. Can't wait to try Bottlerock.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Phurstluv
      Baron RE: Phurstluv Aug 26, 2008 04:33 PM

      I love Fraiche too and cant wait to go back. You might like K-Zo right next to Trader Joes (convenient parking). Very good Japanese restaurant, good service, extensive menu, friendly attitude. Give it a try 1stlove.

    2. CarlieInLA RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 04:51 PM

      Fraiche is very good, Father's office is great, I really like Beacon. For lunch I love Tender Greens, M Cafe de Chaya and Skratch. I also really like Rush Street for drinks and bar bites.

      5 Replies
      1. re: CarlieInLA
        Baron RE: CarlieInLA Aug 26, 2008 07:01 PM

        I've been to K-Zo several times and it does not dissapoint. Good Japanese food and sushi, good service, friendly attitude and extensive menu. It's next to the Trader Joes with convenient parking.

        1. re: Baron
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          AAQjr RE: Baron Aug 26, 2008 10:40 PM

          Am I blind? I've been to that TJ's a few time since I moved into the area and can't picture where K Zo's is??

          Arturo

          1. re: AAQjr
            b
            bulavinaka RE: AAQjr Aug 26, 2008 11:30 PM

            K Zo is next to TJ's on the north side (on Culver Blvd) of the building/parking structure.

          2. re: Baron
            tatertotsrock RE: Baron Aug 29, 2008 08:11 AM

            I LOVE
            K-ZO!!!

          3. re: CarlieInLA
            a
            aventinus RE: CarlieInLA Aug 26, 2008 10:29 PM

            I haven't been to a whole lot of Culver City restaurants but will throw in another thumbs up for Beacon.

          4. cant talk...eating RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 08:55 PM

            For Mexican, definitely get a cemita from the truck on Venice Blvd. that usually parks east of the 405.

            Pepe's Tacos (hole-in-the-wall) has a really good braised short-rib (costillas) and fresh juice. I've tried most of the other taquerias in this Centinela/Inglewood area and it's my favorite.

            Of course there's Sorrento's Italian market for great Italian bread, sandwiches, local-ish (Tulare Co.) produce.

            -----
            Sorrento Italian Market
            5518 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: cant talk...eating
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              bulavinaka RE: cant talk...eating Aug 26, 2008 09:21 PM

              Had a couple cemitas on saturday at the Cemitas Poblanas lunch truck parked in front of the Smart & Final on Venice Blvd. Had the Milanesa chicken as well as the "queso de puerco" - the head cheese - and both were great. I never thought I'd eat head cheese but the customer in front of me said it was one of her favorites. Nice toasty buns, lots of guac, and the deep salsa roja make this truck's sandwiches truly delicious.

            2. a
              attran99 RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 09:21 PM

              Maybe not what you're looking for, but I've always been a fan of Versailles. Garlic chicken and fried plantains as a garnish! Yummy!

              1. b
                bulavinaka RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 09:26 PM

                Gloria's on Venice Blvd has good to great Salvadoran and Mexican dishes. Their pork and beef dinner entrees, soups, and tamales are their strengths.

                1. s
                  slacker RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 09:41 PM

                  Good and interesting:
                  Simpang Asia: Indonesian
                  Grand Casino: Argentinian

                  Good and not so interesting:
                  Fraiche: New American

                  Interesting but not good:
                  Royal T: cosplay

                  Not interesting and not very good:
                  Rush Street: yawn.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: slacker
                    b
                    bulavinaka RE: slacker Aug 26, 2008 09:53 PM

                    We truly enjoy Grand Casino too. Primarily known by most as a bakery, their breakfasts and lunches are quite good as well. The empanadas are baked - not deep-fried - which we personally like. It would be nice though if they would offer more varieties of empanadas. Their fracturas are excellent with coffee, as are their alfajores. Their bakery items tend to be on the sweeter side in general, so they may not be to everyone's liking...

                  2. r
                    Rockgrappler RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 09:43 PM

                    I think the answer depends: lunch v. dinner

                    Lunch Musts:
                    1. K-Zo - very good Japanese/ sushi, great ambiance
                    2. Fraiche - mostly sandwiches for a quicker lunch but still very good (only place I listed in both categories)
                    3. Honey's Kettle - stick to your ribs tasty fried chicken & soul
                    4. Santa Maria BBQ - awesome beans and rice & BBQ tri tip
                    5. Brasa - reasonable priced Brazilian churrascaria, good salad bar & meats
                    6. Father's Office - only open Friday's and weekends, try the soft shell crab when it's in season (burgers and craft beers also a must)
                    7. Let's be Frank - decent quality dogs, a little pricy, super nice people
                    8. Cafe Brazil - authentic Brazilian, relaxed setting
                    9. Tender Greens - light, healthy, organic, try their hot plates if you want more substance
                    10. Ugo - good wholesome but not gut filling Italian, clean and healthy

                    Dinner Musts:
                    1. Fraiche - phenominal dinner menu, veal chop and blood sausage appetizer are a must, order ceviche off menu (arctic char is delicious) - this place rocks!
                    2. Rush Street - skip for lunch - bad service, good dinner menu, great bar
                    3. Bottlerock - great light faire/ cheese, go on a tasting night (good selection of beer too!)
                    4. Ugo wine bar - they have a debit card system to maximize tasting
                    5. La Dijonaise - traditional bistrot food, fairly authentic

                    Must Skip:
                    1. Akasha - bland and expensive
                    2. Meltdown - unremarkable but interesting concept
                    3. Ford's Filing Station - overpriced and not that good
                    4. Bamboo - there are just too many better Brazilian restaurants in Culver City
                    5. Pacifico's - they are confused by what type of restaurant they should be (is it fish? is it Baja Mex? is it Japanese?)

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Rockgrappler
                      b
                      bulavinaka RE: Rockgrappler Aug 26, 2008 10:00 PM

                      I agree with Ford's - too pricey for what I consider above-average food. I've heard that Pacifico's is gone - just wondering what's going into its space...

                      Surfas can be a bit pricey but they do carry a great inventory of food-related stuff. Their cafe off Washington is pretty good as well - just give yourself more time than you'd expect as sometimes the orders come very slowly. Some consider their lemon-lavender bars to be a pink elephant disguised as soap, but I think the combination works very well...

                      1. re: Rockgrappler
                        n
                        NAspy RE: Rockgrappler Aug 27, 2008 08:30 AM

                        FYI, Pacifico's recently closed and it looks like it will be turning into a Kay n Dave's.

                        1. re: NAspy
                          Phurstluv RE: NAspy Aug 28, 2008 12:16 PM

                          Say it ain't so!! Talk about bland and flavorless!

                      2. a
                        aventinus RE: asugar Aug 26, 2008 10:33 PM

                        I'll throw in two more that people haven't listed, both on Venice Blvd

                        Annapurna: Decent vegetarian South Indian cuisine (dosas, etc.).
                        India Sweets & Spices: Decent vegetarian pan-Indian cuisine (stick to the pre-prepared items).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: aventinus
                          holleygolitely RE: aventinus Aug 26, 2008 11:25 PM

                          M Cafe de Chaya on Culver Blvd. Beautiful space and delicious for vegan food. Non-vegans actually like it there--great seared ahi salad and french fries. Sushi Zo is very close and so is Cafe Bella Roma SPQR on Robertson--wonderful home made pastas and bring your own wine.

                        2. J.L. RE: asugar Aug 27, 2008 02:05 AM

                          Hole-in-the-wall Serbian:

                          Metro Café
                          www.metrocafela.com

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: J.L.
                            Local RE: J.L. Aug 27, 2008 09:56 AM

                            Second the Metro Cafe. bulavinaka recommended it a month or so ago before my buddy and i hit a show at the Cinema Bar...i had a good grilled, flavorful mushroom salad, very simple but tasty and perfect if you're eating light. buddy had the more substantial pasta with a mushroom ragu that was also good

                            1. re: Local
                              Servorg RE: Local Aug 28, 2008 05:45 AM

                              You reminded me that we hadn't been to Metro Cafe in too long so we dropped in last night. Tasty, fresh and soul satisfying food with friendly, efficient service.

                              I had the chevapchichi (grilled Serbian sausage) and instead of potatoes I had all grilled vegetables which included egg plant, zucchini, red onion, squash and a couple of others I'm forgetting. My wife had the mushroom ragu w/ rigatoni and to start we split the Serbian salad (very fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, red bell pepper, feta cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper all lightly dressed in a red vinaigrette and olive oil). The salad was the essence of the taste of summer. All the food was top notch. With one coke, one iced tea our tab was $47, plus tip. All the portions are very generous.

                              We parked right in front of the Cafe at the curb and, unfortunately they were very quiet in terms of diners. One other table that came in behind us and two people on the sidewalk out front. Go, support this neighborhood gem.

                              1. re: Servorg
                                n
                                NAspy RE: Servorg Aug 31, 2008 01:03 PM

                                This place is on our more or less regular rotation of local restaurants (we love the Serbian salad and the goulash) and last time we went on a Thursday evening the place was full and there were people waiting. Hopefully they are doing OK business.

                          2. n
                            nosh RE: asugar Aug 27, 2008 10:12 AM

                            I'll throw in a few inexpensive, casual but really good options not mentioned yet:

                            Thai Boom, north side of Venice at Midvale between Overland and Sepulveda -- best Thai on the westside.
                            S&W Country Diner -- south side of Washington downtown CC just before the intersection with Culver -- great combo breakfasts, homemade corned beef hash, excellent hash browns, good pancakes, accurately cooked eggs, cash only.
                            Victor Jr.'s -- counter service Italian deli on the north side of Washington across from the major studio -- great meatball sub, eggplant parm, Italian salad, they advertise cheesesteaks but they are more hot beef hoagies -- closed weekends.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nosh
                              Baron RE: nosh Aug 28, 2008 02:26 PM

                              Let's not forget that there is a great little pizza by the slice place on the west side of Main about 1/2 block south of Venice and further down is a nice little Italian place which I've heard good things about. Sorry, but the names of both escape me right now.

                            2. j
                              Jase RE: asugar Aug 28, 2008 08:30 PM

                              Lots of great suggestions here. I'd add Sazon on Washington and Centinela next to the comic book store.

                              Anything from the specials board or just ask Claudia what's good. Save room for dessert. The flan or bollilo bread pudding or her take on rice pudding.

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