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Lodge Bread — Great Bread, Meh Everything Else

22 Feb

They say that in France a bakery can be great at bread or great at pastries, but not both.  Lodge Bread in Culver City stands as a testament to that principle.

Let’s get this out of the way: Lodge Bread makes a great loaf of bread. A real rival to Clark Street Bread for the title of best loaf in the city (and by that, I mean, best Tartine imitator in LA). I just wish I had gotten my bread and gotten out of there.
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Bar 9 Collective — A New Roaster in Culver City

26 Dec


Culver City, considering its reputation as a food destination, has been relatively weak in good coffee. Cognoscenti is awesome. Akasha and Rockenwagner serve Stumptown. Scoops Westside pours Intelligentsia. But the only real roaster in town has been the Coffee Conservatory, an older place near Sony.

Bar 9 opened a couple years ago to make sure that hipsters who got lost and wandered into the Westside would have somewhere to get coffee.

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Chick-Fil-A in Culver City

26 Dec

Just a quick note to say that Chick-Fil-A is now open in Culver City/Playa Vista. This stretch of Jefferson is in transition, as Playa Vista undergoes a huge expansion and CFA rises from the ashes of a forgotten Denny’s (in the most ghost town shopping center on the Westside). CFA opened with the usual hoopla of crazy people camping outside and is now settling down to becoming a fixture for Culver City and Playa Vista.
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Victor Jr.’s – Red Sauce Italian for Sony Lunchers

30 May

LA has not had a red sauce Italian revival like NYC has had with Torrissi and Parm. So I don’t really know where you go for a decent spaghetti and meatballs that you can takeout and eat in front of the TV. Unfortunately, Culver City stalwart Victor Jr.’s doesn’t solve my dilemma.

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Grey Block Pizza – Salad Pizza Sounds Like a Monstrosity But Is Surprisingly Good

15 Oct

The idea of salad pizza seems like it’s missing a comma. It seems like a stupid thing to just throw a side salad on top of a perfectly good slice. But what is the secret sauce that has had Westsiders coming to this Frankenpizza for years?
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Phorage – I Can’t Believe Phorage Is Making Me Feel Not Terrible About Chego Leaving

12 Oct

Phorage rises up from the ashes of Chego Westside. A tough act to follow, especially considering the space has so many disadvantages — cramped seating, little parking, neighbors who you would never give a second glance to. It also features a landlord who forced Chego out. So I’m not sure why you’d want to take a gamble on this space. But Perry Cheung, formerly of the Slanted Door in San Francisco, is giving it a go with classic Vietnamese cuisine using ingredients described with the usual litany: local, sustainable, seasonal.

The result: maybe the best Vietnamese food I’ve had (outside of the Slanted Door).

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Kogi BBQ & Kogi at the Alibi Room

27 Sep

Maybe you’re like me: you read all the hype about Kogi but just never got around to tracking down the truck in the middle of the night and standing in line forever. You’ve seen the truck at Venice First Friday or Art Walk, but the line stretched around the block and you thought, there are better things I can do with 2 hours, and you settled for a hot dog.

Well you’re not like me anymore. I took the opportunity a couple weeks ago passing through the OC to hit up the Kogi truck at the Little Saigon lunar new year festival. Good times.

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Zam Zam Market – The Best Deal on the Westside

16 Sep


Zam Zam Market is probably the most hole-in-the-wallish place I eat at every chance I get. It’s a great example of everything the Westside is not — a restaurant squarely aimed at an ethnic group that makes no effort to accommodate others. In fact, ZZM functions largely as a takeout joint for Muslims who pray at the King Faud Mosque across the street (I bet you didn’t know there was a big Saudi-funded mosque in Culver City). The Muslim faithful come by after prayers and pick up a quick styro box of incredibly flavorful Pakistani cuisine at totally reasonable prices.

Seriously, check it out. It is up there with the FO burger as one of the tastiest meals in Culver City.

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Tito’s Tacos – Authenticity Might Be Overrated, But These Are Not the Tacos to Prove That

10 Sep

Tito’s Tacos is classic Westside cultural appropriation. Hard shell, yellow cheese, watery salsa — apparently, that’s how you spell gringo. But is this throwback taco actually delicious?

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Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza — Should Be Wildcraft Lotsodough Pizza! Amirite?

20 Aug


Wildcraft brings woodfired pizzas and craft beers to downtown Culver City. You might think: don’t we already have that? Craft beers? You can’t spit without hitting three bars and restaurants that pride themselves on serving craft beers. Pizza? Ugo and LaRocco’s have been slinging pies for years. But sourdough pizza? OK that’s new.

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