Sara The Wine Bar – Family Recipes & Great Wine in Culver City
On the western border of Culver City, you’ll find the adorable establishment Sara The Wine Bar at Jefferson and Mesmer. Comfy-modern in décor, this place has a nice little patio out front and an accessible bar with several tables around it inside.
Their menu consists of about a dozen small Italian dishes that are meant to be shared. A majority of the items are family recipes, noted with an asterisk. These dishes add a homey feel to the modern space. I wish there were even more family recipes available to taste! Their wine list is longer than their food menu and covers the spectrum of reds, whites, and dessert wines. They have a great happy hour as well: Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to 7pm and Friday from 4pm to 7pm with $6 pizzas. I cannot recommend the flatbread pizza enough.
Luna Park – ‘Meet in the Middle’ Favorite in Miracle Mile
When you live on one side of Los Angeles and your friend lives on the exact opposite side, where do you meet for dinner? In the middle. My favorite ‘meet in the middle’ restaurant is Luna Park, located at Wilshire and La Brea.
Larry’s – Good food at Venice Beach
When I think of food at Venice Beach, I think your typical stand food: Burgers, hot dogs, nachos, etc. until I stepped into Larry’s on Windward Avenue. It’s that street with the suspended letters spelling out Venice.
Great décor that gave a relaxed, yet polished vibe. It’s a very open space with mostly outdoor seating, yet you feel like you’re inside and not at Venice Beach proper. They have a wide variety of beer and wine available. The menu boasts a lot of delicious offerings. We started with Grilled Asparagus and Risotto Balls.
Every bite of the Grilled Asparagus was savory and full of complimentary flavors. I could eat this for breakfast! It was light and a great starter. It was a little tricky to split between a few people, but we made it work.
The Risotto Balls consist of beef Bolognese stuffed in a shell of risotto. These were absolutely incredible and a little heavier than I expected, but well worth it. I would definitely come back for this dish.
For my entrée, I ordered the Pea Ravioli. The bowl is deeper than it looks. The ravioli was filled with lightly puréed peas, which was light and not too strong. It was just right. The sauce it came in was a little heavy for me and the Parmesan cheese was a little much as well, but the dish was still yummy. There are definitely other items on the menu I would come back to try.
Truly, I must give compliments to the Chef as the entire meal was just amazing. Great food, great service, and a great atmosphere. This is a fantastic place for dinner, lunch, or stopping by for a drink.
24 Windward Ave
By Jen Troy
Jen Troy is a Jill-Of-All-Trades.
The Corner Door – A great place to try in Culver City
On the west side of Culver City, right when you think ‘I’m not in Culver City anymore,’ you’ll find The Corner Door. Sleek with vintage inspired décor, this restaurant boasts a buzzing atmosphere with a well-thought out menu.
Littered with cozy booths and modern tables, this is a good place for dinner or drinks. You can tell a lot of time went into the menu; it’s rather short, but you can tell the chef has chosen carefully.
For starters, I have to highly recommend their Brussels sprouts. Fresh produce roasted to sweet perfection with feta cheese on top is just so tasty. I usually don’t find appetizers that wow me, but this one definitely does every time.
Grub – A Hidden Gem in Hollywood!
Sometimes you just want to go to a low-key place that feels like home. Grub in Hollywood is the perfect place for that. When you walk up, you can either enjoy the open patio or head inside. Inside, you’ll encounter colorful wooden tables, vintage signs on the walls (that are HILARIOUS), a warm atmosphere, and a decently large menu with savory dishes. Here was my view at dinner:
Some places have a breadbasket for the table, but Grub has a basket of pretzels, cut slices of cucumbers, and cut carrots with a light dipping sauce. It was a refreshing twist for me. When it came time to order, it was a difficult decision. I ended up going with their Chicken Pasta dish.
Seasons 52 – Every dish under 475 calories, HOW?! — Century City
Tucked away in a corner of the Westfield Century City Mall, sits Seasons 52 where natural cooking techniques and fresh, seasonal ingredients inspire the menu. It changes with the season, so they have four main menus a year and fifty-two specials menus a year. Pretty awesome. Every dish on their menu is less than 475 calories and is a decent portion size. I don’t know how they do it.
Inside, you’ll find a warm and sophisticated charm awaiting you. There are too many options to choose from! We decided to get the artichoke and goat cheese flatbread for our appetizer. It was a much larger item than I expected, but greatly appreciated. It was light, incredibly flavorful, and perfect for sharing. It could be one person’s main dish. I may have to do that next time… I can’t stop thinking about it.
Lyfe Kitchen – Culver City’s New Addition
A shiny new restaurant whose philosophy is ‘love your food everyday’? Of course I need to try it! This place is all about fresh ingredients and being healthy. Not to mention, its white lights are SO bright, you can’t help but notice it in Downtown Culver City at night.
Walk into Lyfe Kitchen, and you might feel like you were in an upscale campus cafeteria, except for the exposed brick walls and fresh herb garden. I mean, it’s pretty cool.
I immediately stood in the order line, and to my left there was a stand with Lyfe’s menus: Lunch/Dinner, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. I really appreciated this aspect, as I know how tough it is for someone who is gluten-free or vegan to decode what they can eat on an establishment’s menu. They also serve wine and beer.
One of the other great things about the menu was that it listed each item’s calorie count and sodium count. There were a bunch of items on the Lunch/Dinner menu that looked good. As I was waiting, a waiter passed out samples of Hibiscus Iced Tea and Cucumber Mint Cooler. Both were refreshing. I was partial to the Cucumber Mint Cooler because of the stronger flavors.
I ended up ordering Tal’s Ancient Grain Bowl. It consisted of stir-fried vegetables, gardein (made from plant-based foods and has a similar texture to lean meat) “beef tips” all over quinoa with a sweet chile-ginger sauce.
It was good, but it wasn’t great. Maybe it’s because I’m a serious carnivore at heart, or I just wanted a little more from it. The flavors were diverse and fresh, but just not savory enough for me; I like my dinner to have a little more flavor to it. Perhaps if Tal’s Ancient Grain Bowl had a thicker and more robust sauce, I’d like the dish more.
Overall, I think this place might be better for lunch than dinner. I would go back to Lyfe and try some of their other dishes. Their quest for healthiness and freshness can’t be beat.
By Jen Troy
Jen Troy is a Jill-Of-All-Trades.
Ugo: An Italian Cafe - Culver City
A wide selection of gelato—I’m there! Ugo: An Italian Cafe in downtown Culver City has classic Italian dishes and a variety of desserts. When you walk in, a classy and warm atmosphere greets you. Have a drink at the bar or grab a table for dinner. I’d suggest you go for dinner.
Ugo’s menu isn’t neither monstrous nor too specialized. It’s truly balanced. It has classic Italian dishes and some great takes on others. I decided to get their Rigatoni Bolognese. This dish is a staple to me. When I think about coming to Ugo, I am usually already thinking about the meat sauce.
You know how leftover pasta dishes can sometimes be better than fresh? This is not the case with this dish. It’s great from the first bite to the last—you won’t have any leftovers. They use just the right amount of garnish. The sauce is what really makes this dish; it’s creamy and savory at the same time. The pasta soaks up just the right amount of it to really communicate all of the flavors.
Now on to the desserts! They have a few cases that display what they have to offer. Ugo has various cakes and tarts, but the dessert I must recommend is the gelato. They have so many different flavors to choose from. You can go either classic, creamy gelato or you can decide to do more of a lighter, fruit-based gelato. I find them all to be amazing and fresh, but I have to admit that the fruit flavors are my favorite. You just don’t see these everywhere.
Ugo is a great place to go for dinner in downtown Culver City. Parking is pretty easy with a number of nearby parking structures and street parking. Also, they have a wine bar next door. I’ll have to check it out!
By Jen Troy
Jen Troy is a Jill-Of-All-Trades.
Best Fish Taco in Ensenada - Los Feliz
A few blocks east of Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz you can find truly the best fish tacos around! They’ve appropriately named their establishment. Best Fish Taco in Ensenada has some of the best fish tacos I have eaten in Los Angeles.
When you walk in, you’ll be greeted with bright colors and murals on every wall. You’re immediately put at ease. It’s a neighborhood joint that you just can’t help but come back to.
Rounds Premium Burgers - West Hollywood
Do you ever have those nights when you just want a good burger? Man, I do. Rounds Premium Burgers in West Hollywood have those burgers and they invited us to come check them out. Their burgers are easily customizable and are just the right amount of everything you’d want in a good burger. It’s a balanced burger… pending your choice of additional toppings.
When you walk up, there’s a great patio outside with bar-height tables and chairs. They have a similar bar inside and tables as well, giving a casual vibe to the place. When you walk in you’re greeted by an organized ordering system. Other establishments are a little tougher to figure out so this was very intuitive.
I appreciate a place that actually wants me to understand what I’m ordering. The ordering sheets are a step by step guide to the burger ordering process itself. Also, there are just the right amount of options so I don’t have to ask, “So what’s actually in this sauce?”