Travel

Culver City

Establishment neighborhood
Aldea Home & Baby
3825 Main St., Culver City
It’s perfectly logical that after nurturing a thriving community of parents and kids in San Francisco’s Mission District, kid’s store Aldea founder Johanna Bialkin would set her sights on an equally family-oriented LA neighborhood: Culver City. That’s because community is just as big a part of the Aldea ethos as sustainability (most toys, clothes, and furniture reside on the eco-friendly spectrum), creativity (there are things here we’ve never seen anywhere else), and aesthetics (Oeuf, Monte, and Aelfie are just a few of the design-y brands on offer). There are weekly wine nights (for parents), story time (for kids), mommy-and-me yoga classes, live music, and more (for parents and kids). Walk through shelves upon shelves of giftables and Iittle nooks you’ll want to lift directly from the store and plop in your home as is—and the good news is that you totally can, by setting up an Aldea registry.
Vespertine
3599 Hayden Ave., Culver City
An eighteen-course meal spanning several hours inside of an architectural marvel to a score composed by This Will Destroy You may not be for everyone. While one person says it was the best meal of her life, the next might say they could hardly sit through the experience. Coming here is just as much about showmanship as it is about food. But one thing’s for sure: You’ve never had dinner like this before. Chef Jordan Kahn (formerly of Red Medicine, currently of Destroyer) took over architect Eric Owen Moss’s “Waffle” building in 2017 with the intention of opening a fine-dining restaurant that has a function for every floor. Enter on the ground floor; get on the elevator to the kitchen and look around; get back on to the twenty-two-seat dining room. (If you notice a particular scent, it’s likely the custom fragrance Kahn developed to round out the dining experience.) Once there, sit back in the greyscale banquettes and wait for the show to begin—each course is: dramatic. You won’t see the same custom-made plate twice and the food that sits on it is to be appreciated with…
WMN Space
10764 Washington Blvd., Culver City
This all-ladies clubhouse is welcoming (to women) and airy, perfect for healing, supporting, and learning from other women. If you’re imagining the stodgy members-only clubs of yore, don’t. WMN is deliberately unfussy. Founded by doula Paula Mallis, WMN Space offers everything from pre- and postnatal workshops, to meditation and movement classes, to full-moon circles. The roster of in-house specialists includes a vaginapractor (if you’re not familiar, it’s essentially a chiropractor for your vagina), healers, hypnotists, as well as talk and body therapists.
BäcoShop
9552 Washington Blvd., Culver City
There’s been a lot of local buzz around the opening of this small lunch destination, and understandably so: It’s a concept from chef Josef Centeno, the same man behind goop favorites Bar Ama and Bäco Mercat. We can confidently report it doesn’t disappoint: you can’t go wrong with on of their bäcos or bäcorritos, which are homemade-flatbread-enclosed sandwiches filled with everything from shrimp with sriracha, buttermilk cabbage slaw, and mint to coffee rubbed-steak with red chile, almonds, and charred scallion. Their creative salads and vegetable offerings are a lighter option, but just as good. (They have a nice short list of beer and wine, too.) Photos: Wonho Frank Lee
Stay
8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City
Just like everything else that’s a part of Platform, Stay by Spring Street Social Society is full of very pretty things in a very pretty (and highly Instagrammable) space. (Look no further than the hand-painted mural that says, “Come In For Awhile” by goop favorite Brian Kaspr.) In this case, those things come in the form of little gifts you’d want for yourself: textiles from Caroline Z Hurley, home objects from Well Received and (wh)ORE Haus Studios, candles from Putnam & Putnam, plus a small mix of easy, well-priced dresses and blouses from brands like English Factory. Stay is temporarily popping into Platform, but word on the street is they’ll be there until end of summer 2017. Photos: Patrick Janelle (@aguynamedpatrick)
Bird
8870 Washington Blvd., Culver City
Owner and buyer Jen Mankins has built a bit of an empire out in Brooklyn, drawing Manhattanites out to shop in the process. Now, you can peruse the same edit in Culver City, where you’re greeted by an entrance courtyard replete with its own native plant garden. Within: Mankins’s eye for both quirky and cool, meaning that you’ll find a pretty irreverent (and bright) mix here, along with picks from Ulla Johnson, Apiece Apart, Mansur Gavriel, and A Détacher.
Bar & Garden
6142 Washington Blvd., Culver City
While Bar & Garden certainly feels like a neighborhood spot—super-helpful and friendly staff, a cozy, plant-adorned space; it's been in Culver City for years—it's definitely not your average local liquor store. Known for carrying hard-to-find bottles, owners Lauren Johnson, Marissa Mandel, and Ryan Frick make sure their unusual and constantly-updated selection of spirits are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. In addition to stocking a solid selection of natural wines and craft beers, they also curate an assortment of every kind of barware item you could possibly need. They have tastings every Tuesday and Sunday—plus, it's a great stop for gifts.
Tenoverten
8830 Washington Blvd., Culver City
This is not your regular neighborhood mani/pedi/beauty joint. The thoughtfully designed space is outfitted with mid-century modern furniture (you won’t find any oversize massage chairs), and the technicians are incredibly well trained. It offers kiddie manicures, at-home appointments, and best of all, it’s open late. Culver City is just the newest outpost—the original is in Tribeca, and there's a third outpost at the Parker Meridien hotel in Midtown, plus a location in the Financial District and another in Austin, Texas. Facials are the unsung heroes at Tenoverten, which is staffed with highly skilled aestheticians. The four treatments are all incredible—and all powered by beautiful, enriching, clean, and nontoxic True Botanicals formulas. You can’t go wrong with the Pure Radiance therapy, which restores balance with custom enzyme exfoliation, gentle extractions, vitamin therapy, tension-relieving myofascial jaw release to quell breakouts, and Reiki. It’s just heaven.
Sweetgreen
8840 Washington Blvd., Culver City
It's no secret that we’re big fans of this sustainability-first spot, which you can now find in Culver City (in addition to SM, WeHo, Brentwood, and across the country). The focus is on local farmers, proper sourcing, and environmental respect, which is also reflected in the hands-down delicious food. Besides the build-your-own salad bar, the bowl-centric dishes range from Mexican-inspired salads to basic cobbs—and in the true spirit of transparency, they reveal calorie content, too.
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