Culver City Specialty
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
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.
3515 Helms Ave., Culver City
This hidden gem in Culver City serves up great iced coffee in appropriately hipster glass jars. It's a great spot for a meeting, as there's plenty of bar space and even some room at standing bars, but it's an especially great find if you're the type that likes to spread out: There's an enormous table in the back that provides plenty of space to stack and organize papers. They also have a partnership with Highland Park’s Amara Kitchen, which means that you can get their incredible grain-free pancakes (made with pasture-raised eggs and flax butter and served with their whipped, dairy-free maple butter)—along with selections from their curated brunch menu, like their ‘purple egg pot’ and sweet potato taco—on the West side every day of the week.
3417 Motor Ave., Culver City
With four L.A. locations, you can count on this reliable coffee shop to be nearby no matter where you are. It's a very popular spot for work and study, which means they're used to having laptops—they also play a work-friendly soundtrack. Some locations have larger food menus than others, so make sure to check the website if you're hoping to stick around for lunch. In the coffee department, Coffee Commissary brings in a different guest roaster every few weeks, which mixes things up a bit. There are also locations in Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Burbank.
8588 Washington Blvd., Culver City
Coolhaus makes handmade ice cream sandwiches in crazy (and crazy-good) combinations: Flavors like Beer & Pretzels and Milkshake & Fries are wedged between Chocolate Brownies with Maldon Sea Salt and Fruity Pebbles & Marshmallow. To make it even weirder (in a great way) they're served in edible, calorie-free wrappers. Oh, and there are options for vegans. They have locations in Culver City and Pasadena, along with four trucks, though you can always find their treats at Whole Foods.
578 Hayden Ave.
Let Destroyer’s aggressive name be the first indication that this tiny new spot, located in Culver City’s design district, Hayden Tract, takes breakfast and lunch fare pretty seriously. White walls and factory windows lend the bright, 16-seat space a familiar minimalist feel, but the menu is full of inventive Scandinavian-style fare from chef Jordan Kahn. The surprisingly affordable (and frequently updated) menu has included everything from Icelandic rye bread with cultured butter and preserves to a waffle-cone-shaped beef tartare wrapped in a crispy parsnip. The daytime-only, weekday-only spot also serves pretty great coffee and tea.
Hi-Lo Liquor Market
8582 Washington Blvd.
Any "liquor store" where you can buy a pint of Jeni's ice cream is clearly on another level, as is the case with this new 1,500-square-foot space just down the street from Midland. Here, gourmet ice cream is just the tip of the iceberg: In addition to build-your-own six-packs of craft beer, you'll find cocktail accessories, local gins, and fresh-pressed juice—all of which make this both the perfect last-minute stop before a dinner party and a shopping destination in its own right.
4065 Jackson Ave., Culver City
Housed on a residential street in Culver City, Jackson Market has a grocery section (lots of gourmet candy, drinks, and snacks) in addition to a lengthy lunch menu. While the Jamaican Jerk sandwich had a nice kick to it and the Rueben has the perfect brisket-to-sauerkraut ratio (best enjoyed right away as the dressing makes the bread soggy), the classic Italian sub is a definite fan favorite, particularly when you take the build-your-own option and opt for a turkey-and-pesto sandwich.
9900 Culver Blvd., Culver City
Culver City’s food scene is exploding right now, and one of the best additions is understandably Picnic LA. The menu is divided into entrees (meatballs, chicken leg tangine, salmon, etc.) and sides (green salads, potato salad, and all kinds of other vegetables) that can be mixed and matched into a full meal. Everything’s pre-made, so getting in and out quickly is surprisingly fast, and it all packs up easily if you actually want to have a picnic. If that’s the case, don’t miss their desserts, like key lime pie squares or dark chocolate pot de crème.
8840 Washington Blvd.
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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