A foodie's walking tour of Culver City, CaliforniaLocated within Los Angeles, Culver City may give off a sleepy community vibe, but as it harbors two entertainment studios (Sony Pictures Studios and Culver Studios) it also enjoys a hipster food and drink reputation. In the old downtown, there is a rich diversity of food and beverage joints that will certainly satisfy your inner Julia Child. Plus, they're all within walking distance. So, food and bar hop to your heart and stomach's desire. Bon Appetit!
Located in the historic Hull Building (see top photo), Chef Akasha Richmond and husband Alan Schulman opened their popular and acclaimed restaurant Akasha in 2008. Serving California and New American menus, all the items on their menu are delish, including personal favorites Pan Roasted Mary's Chicken and the Spiked Turkey Burger. Akasha has an enticing Happy Hour at the bar (daily, 2:30 – 7:00 p.m.). Fun fact: Ms. Richmond began her career studying yoga but then became a personal chef for the likes of Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Billy Bob Thornton. Tres hip, right?
AR Cucina in Culver City (Photo: Lori Huck)
A few doors down from Akasha is Richmond and Schulman's latest eatery, AR Cucina. New to the scene after closing the Indian restaurant Sambar, AR Cucina is fast becoming a neighborhood favorite serving rustic, high-end Italian food. Try Primi pastas like Bucatini All'Amatrician (where $1 of each dish sold goes to the Amatrice earthquake relief fund), or the simplistic but yummy Spaghetti Cacio E Pepe (black pepper, butter, pecorino romano). Continue to the Secondi meat entrees like Kirk's Porchetta (herb roasted pork shoulder) or Gamberi Alla Griglia (grilled jumbo prawns, swiss chard, lemon, herb breadcrumbs, titone olio nuovo, sicilia). OMG, no more writing; I have to run and hit their equally impressive happy hour!
The Wallace restaurant in Culver City (Photo: Lori Huck)
Down the block and around the corner, diners will find the quaint but exquisite The Wallace, denoted with signage that shows an upside down chair. The Wallace focuses on a seasonal menu comprised of local and sustainable ingredients. Joel Miller is the executive chef, while Greg Bryson is the director of beverages, including the Tipples ("alcoholic drinks taken habitually in small quantities"). Be creative in your beverage intake by imbibing a cocktail with a great name like "Morning Sex" (bourbon, passion fruit, chai, lemon, Peychaud's bitters), or "How 'Bout Them Apples" (Clyde Mays Alabama whiskey, lemon, ginger beer, dehydrated apples). By the way, their food ain't bad either, in fact, it's pretty excellent with vegetable, sea and land selections like venison tartare or baby octopus.
Chef-owner Keizo Ishiba's K-ZO restaurant is one of the finest French Japanese restaurants in town. On many best lists, K-Zo wins acclaim on their sushi, seafood ceviche, sashimi trio (choose between tuna, albacore, halibut, salmon or octopus), tempuras, noodle dishes and spicy calamari. Nestled between Trader Joe's and a parking structure, this unobtrusive sushi spot is a great find for foodies.
The Cannibal LA
Yes, The Cannibal Beer and Butcher is a meaty restaurant that utilizes all parts of the animal (don't worry, no humans were harmed here). The menu accentuates the butcher cuts of beef and pork in flavorful ways. Want to bring non-carnivore friends? No problem as they can gnaw on veggie plates, salads, cheeses and a few seafood selections (yellowtail crudo, charred octopus). Try the Cannibal Jerky, and be sure to check out the Butcher shop next door.
Lori Huck works in television development and research as well as writes on entertainment, travel and the arts. She's a fan of the vibrant arts scene in Los Angeles and is a member of various film, television, and arts organizations.
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