Over one hundred years of cinema history is packed into Culver City, a five-mile area nestled between Venice Beach and Hollywood. The pedestrian-friendly downtown area has become the heart of an exciting culinary scene. Al fresco patio seating is plentiful, allowing for quintessential SoCal outdoor dining.
Culver City is the perfect blend of contemporary and classic. Where else can you dine just steps away from where Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were filmed? And, with today’s hottest tech and media companies (including Apple) moving in to the area, there’s an appetite for innovative fine dining and fast casual. Plus, the diverse restaurants’ mix of flavors from across the globe keep diners’ taste buds from ever getting bored. Here are a few of Culver City’s best restaurants with a global flair.
Since opening in 2008, Akasha has earned its reputation as the go-to Culver City eatery for New American cuisine with an international spin. Before becoming an executive chef, Akasha Richmond was a personal chef for high-profile clientele, including Michael Jackson, who Richmond credits with launching her career. Housed inside a historic 1925 building, Akasha’s cafe and main dining spaces maintain the building’s original steel, wood, concrete and brick arches. The cafe is ideal for hearty breakfasts or casual lunches, like avocado toast with smoked salmon. Baked goods and pastries are made in-house every day. The main dining room’s extensive lunch and dinner menus cater to the tastes of carnivores and herbivores alike. Share Plates like Mumbai Street Snacks and Skillet Mac and Cheese remain on the menu at the bar during Akasha’s popular Happy Hour.
9543 Culver Blvd.
Grand Casino Bakery and Café
Culver City’s Main Street is only about a block long, but, thanks to the Grand Casino Bakery and Cafe, it has a big Buenos Aires vibe. The Grand Casino is one of the few places in Los Angeles one can find traditional Mate, Argentina’s national and very caffeinated beverage. Homemade empanadas are a must-try and include meatless options like eggplant or spinach and cheese. The main dining area is a festive space for gathering families and groups. An ample selection of pasta dishes — like ravioli, gnocchi and fettucine — reflect Argentina’s rich Italian influences. A date night favorite is Grand Casino’s Parillada for two, a mixed grill platter piled with meaty short ribs, skirt steak, sausage and more. Then satisfy your sweet tooth with a dulce de leche filled crepe or creamy flan.
3826 Main St.
EnjoEat Classico and Espresso
Slightly off the beaten path, a pair of authentic Italian dining spots await. EnjoEats Classico serves lunch and dinner, featuring delicious grilled filet mignon and pastas prepared to perfection. EnjoEats Classico is also known for individually-tossed, paper-thin pizzas. The Mimmo, for example, is topped with Prosciutto de Parma, arugula and locally produced burrata cheese. Next door, connected by a passageway, is EnjoEat Espresso, where you can finish off your meal with a fresh brewed espresso, gelato or rich dessert, like profiteroles al cioccolato. The restaurants are tucked away behind the Arclight theater and the historic Culver Hotel, where the Wizard of Oz munchkins were once housed. The hotel features live jazz almost every night, so swing by on your way into or out of EnjoEat, as a great way to cap off the evening.
3918 Van Buren Pl.
So, what’s a Bäco? According to its visionary creator Chef Josef Centeno, it started as a flatbread sandwich. The bread was folded in such a way that people started to call it a global taco, which soon became globaco, and the rest is history. Bäcoshop is an exciting fast-casual option, where balls of dough are rolled out in front of your eyes. The fresh baked flatbread is wrapped around everything from coffee rubbed steak, with horseradish cream; to slow roasted pork, with cotija cheese; to Chile shrimp, served with a Sriracha sauce, buttermilk cabbage slaw and mint. You can opt for a Bäcorrito, which is more of a burrito-style wrap, or create a Bäco bowl by adding a filling to a base of grains, burrata and herb vinaigrette.
9552 Washington Blvd.
Kay ‘n Dave’s Cantina
There are only a smattering of Mexican food options in Culver City. While others may get higher marks for authenticity, Kay ‘n Dave’s is an excellent choice for cantina-style fun and flavor. The full bar and festive atmosphere make the Cantina a popular spot, particularly for brunch and happy hour. The sprawling space has plenty of outdoor seating and features an inviting fire pit where diners can gather in groups. Enjoy Oaxacan queso con huevos breakfast tacos and micheladas for an early “hangover brunch,” or late-night menu bites, like a lamb barbacoa skillet or cochinita pibil taquitos. Chef Alejo’s recipes, taught to him by his Oaxacan grandmother, earn high marks for their fresh ingredients and satisfying flavors.
9341 Culver Blvd.
Hanjip Korean BBQ
Koreatown makes its way into Culver City with this exciting All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ and Seafood experience, co-created by celebrity chef Chris Oh. While the experience can be shared by two, fans of Hanjip say the more the merrier. After picking from a lengthy list of options –from brisket and pork belly to baby octopus — get down to grilling. Enjoy the fruits of your labor along with bowls of banchan, Korean side dishes like bean sprouts, broccoli sprigs, sour kimchi, and dried squid. Other sides are well worth adding, especially the bone marrow and corn cheese or the kimchi fried rice sautéed in brown butter. All you can drink soju cocktails and beer, including craft and Korean choices, are a perfect complement.
3829 Main St.
Honey’s Kettle Fresh Fried Chicken
Named one of the top fried chicken restaurants in America, Honey’s Kettle is a Culver City gem with Southern style recipes made from scratch. Old fashioned kettle cooking, a technique from Colonial times, is the inspiration behind this hand-dipped fried chicken. Their specially formulated batter withstands high temperatures so the result is crunchy and moist. For just the right balance of salty and sweet, Honey’s Kettle pairs their chicken with flaky, from-scratch biscuits or delicious hotcakes served with local honey. The restaurant is bright and open, with outdoor seating, as well. Sides, like hand-mashed potatoes, fresh corn on the cob and sautéed green beans are all fresh and dessert is made on-site. Save room for their sweet potato, apple, pecan or blackberry pie.
9537 Culver Blvd.
Meet in Paris
This neighborhood bistro romances diners with French comfort foods and a relaxed Culver City style. While the sidewalk seats are perfect for people watching, the intimate indoor dining experience, with its quaint creative touches, may have you believing you’re in Paris. For mussel lovers, Meet in Paris is mecca. No Los Angeles restaurant comes close to matching this expansive menu of moules-frites — mussels with French fries — prepared over a dozen ways. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there is even an all-you-can-eat mussel menu, with a selection of intoxicating sauces, like Truffle and Mushroom, French Onion, and Escargot. Whether you’re craving a breakfast splurge of French toast with Nutella or ready for a glass of wine and charcuterie, Meet in Paris is a culinary charmer.
9727 Culver Blvd.