Friday, September 30th was planned as a #culinary excursion with my high school friend Sandy. We wanted to experience our old neighborhood in a new light. We began in #Venice looking for donuts. We stopped at Portland-based Blue Star Donuts located on Abbot Kinney. The display case contents didn’t look that appealing, so we were off to our next stop, #Menotti’s, known for their latte art. The surprise here is that the coffee actually tastes really good. That is being said by someone who usually has a little coffee with her sweetener. Cody + Jason combined their talents to create my cup of latte with triple hearts. When I finished drinking it, the littlest heart was nestled in the bottom of my cup. How do they do that?
A block away is the boardwalk – still as we remember it, minus the musclemen from Gold’s Gym. Hatchet Hall is only open for dinner, so we went to Plan B which is walk until we find some place that looks interesting.
Greens Up on Main is a salads only restaurant – pick your greens and toppings. Then everything is tossed together with a light dressing and served in a large stainless bowl. Sandy and I opted to share the already put together special. It was kale topped with a tasty chicken salad and served with “Portuguese” rolls. They just tasted like ordinary rolls to us. When I asked for butter, the waiter looked at me like the request for such an unhealthy condiment constituted a venal sin!
Since we ate so healthy for lunch, we decided some dessert was in order. Kippy’s is the place for ice cream, all made with organic coconut cream. It’s thick and smooth like real ice cream and tastes unbelievably delicious. My concoction was a scoop of mango and of chocolate mocha (no caffeine) topped with dried mulberries, and a drizzle of caramel chocolate. It makes my mouth water just writing about it.
Now began the real adventure. Sandy’s cellphone GPS system didn’t like our request for a non-freeway route to #CulverCity (we both went to high school there). The best she could do was get the bicycle route. I knew we could get to Culver City by following Venice Boulevard to Culver Boulevard, but we were intrigued with the idea of this route. So a drive which should have taken us about 20 minutes took over an hour! But we saw residential areas of Santa Monica, Palms and Mar Vista that we hadn’t seen in years. Since we were not in a hurry, it was really a quite an enjoyable ride.
Culver City has made quite a comeback. The downtown is very hip and happening, especially on a Friday night. We checked out the new Platform development on Washington Boulevard. It takes up two long blocks. When finished, it will include several small restaurants, retail and loft living spaces. The common area landscaping feature lots of succulents and other drought resistant plants highlighting several gathering spots comfortably furnished for conversation and some outdoor dining.
The Helms Bakery building is where we were headed for dinner at Lukshon with my son Jeff. Free valet here and a large open outside area that acts as a meeting place as well as walkways to the shops and restaurants, all of which offer outside and inside dining. You could easily spend all day here. Lukshon offers Asian fusion fare serving small plates in impeccable style with service to match. We ate outside in an area featuring the elegance of a long low fireplace providing aesthetics rather than warmth. Each bite was an experience. We shared tea leaf salad, grilled Brussel sprouts, spicy chicken pops, cheang mai curry noodles, Santa Barbara uni toast, and Hawaiian butterfish. If that wasn’t enough, we had masala chai donuts with dark chocolate green cardamom sauce for dessert. Jeff had a cup of Vietnamese style coffee that he said was perfect. Check out Lukshon’s full menu online at www.lukshon.com. This restaurant is definitely a must for you foodies out there!!
#TheOtherThing – contrary to what Thomas Wolfe said, you CAN go home again. And it’s better than ever!!