From boom to bust to boom again, Culver City continues to grow as one of LA’s great dining districts, and while Downtown gets all the hype, there are plenty of phenomenal options to be found in the surrounding parts of town. From old-school tacos to new-school... well, tacos, here are the 25 finest places to gorge yourself in Culver City.
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9552 Washington Boulevard At Josef Centeno’s latest outpost, you can watch his famous, pillow-soft “bäco” flatbreads made on site -- right before they arrive at your table, wrapped around saucy piles of shrimp or pounded to a crisp and loaded with melty cheese (that’s the bäco melt). Non-bäco dishes are mouthwatering, too, like hash brown balls drenched in nacho-style toppings and a palate-cleansing cardamom soft serve.
9620 Venice Boulevard You’ll come for the crazy-diverse booze collection (600 wines, 150 beers, 200 spirits, with a special focus on small-batch products and sustainable farming), but you’ll stay to sip on vermouth-based cocktails at the bar. Fine, it’s not a “restaurant” per se, but food trucks often park outside (Free Range on Fridays), and you can bring in your own eats as well, so we’re counting it.
11060 Washington Boulevard This new sushi spot opened quietly back in March, but it’s already drawing crowds thanks to an omakase-style menu (which has earned comparisons to Sugarfish) and some of the freshest-tasting bluefin tuna, toro, and yellowtail on the Westside.
3455 S Overland Avenue Ever since this traditional Japanese kaiseki restaurant was featured on Chef’s Table, snagging a reservation’s been tough. But the wait’s worth it -- provided you’re down for 13 courses of beautifully plated, precisely executed dishes, made with seasonal veggies and herbs harvested from Chef Nakayama’s own garden.
3833 Main Street One of LA’s most underrated restaurants, The Wallace takes tapas to a whole new level with jarred starters (get the five-spice chicken liver mousse) and creative veggie plates, including a creamed corn made with hominy instead of dairy and a roasted cauliflower steak boasting just the right amount of char.
12517 W Washington Boulevard Dining at Hatchet Hall -- with its dim lighting, wallpaper, and speakeasy specializing in American bourbons and whiskies -- feels like you’re eating a home-cooked meal in Georgia. But while the menu leans Southern (potatoes cooked in beef fat, yeast rolls served with honey butter), the food is still fresh, modern, and SoCal-friendly with lighter seafood and grilled veggies.
12565 Washington Boulevard Just like the Aloha State’s best diners, Roy Choi’s Hawaiian-influenced spot doesn’t shy away from rich, heavy brunch fare -- like kalua pork, spam musubi, creamy mac salad, and pineapple-guava pancakes.
11113 Washington Boulevard A bastion of authentic Danish baking, Copenhagen uses traditional techniques to whip up Kringles (flaky cakes stuffed with marzipan and custard, then dusted with almonds and sugar), poppyseed twists, chocolate rum balls, and a variety of other pastries jammed with nuts, jellies, and fruit.
3578 Hayden Avenue At Destroyer -- which is only open for breakfast and lunch -- you get a fine-dining experience for half the cost. Food is a visual art here, but it’s also downright delectable, like the rice porridge dressed up with puffed grains, caramelized broccoli, and slightly burnt onion.
8830 Washington Boulevard Yes, Loqui (part of Culver City’s Platform) is the third taqueria on this list, but it earns its spot with classic Baja California interpretations of excellent tacos and bowls made with baked-from-scratch tortillas.
3849 Main Street On the other end of the ramen spectrum, there’s Tentenyu -- a Kyoto-style restaurant that makes its broth not with pork (although there’s a little added to the stock), but with chicken bones and feet. The result is a light, clear, creamy-tasting soup that’s just as rich but won’t leave you in a food coma.
3229 Helms Avenue The only argument against this dry-aged beef patty, topped with blue cheese, arugula, and onion jam (with no substitutions), is that it's actually closer to a sandwich than a burger. In which case, it's the best burger and the best sandwich in Culver City.
3239 Helms Avenue The dude who invented the Father's Office burger is no one-trick pony, and all the proof you need is next door at this modern Asian restaurant. Get the spicy chicken pops, uni toast, and black rice with Chinese sausage, and you'll leave pretty damn happy.
3973 Sepulveda Boulevard Gone are the days when you used to have to drive over to West Adams or Inglewood for BBQ -- now Culver City has its own meat temple dedicated to brisket and pork ribs. Lunchtime is for standard sandwich and BBQ combo plates, while they get a bit fancier for dinner with small plates and smoked pork belly.
10700 Washington Boulevard The menu at this fast-food Indian counter is smaller than the original Samosa House just up the street, but it’s got one thing the other location doesn't have: fake (aka soy) chicken tikka masala that’s so good you'll want to use at least two of your three combo choices on it when ordering. This is as close to a delicious-yet-guilt-free meat experience as you’re gonna get.
3829 Main Street Korean BBQ from the dude behind Seoul Sausage? We're in. The lunch specials are fantastic -- like the marinated short rib plate and dolsot bibimbap -- and the uni-topped Korean steamed egg doesn’t hurt either.
4017 Sepulveda Boulevard Not to be confused with the thick-cut stuff you get at delis like Langer's, this classic Culver City diner specializes in the piles of shredded pastrami made famous by The Hat (and others). Pick a song on the old-school mini-jukebox, then grab the jus-dipped sandwich in your fist and go to town.
9537 Culver Boulevard The original Compton location of this fried chicken shop closed years ago, but the Culver City location is still going strong with buttermilk biscuits, honey from a spout, and intensely crunchy, heavily battered fried chicken.
11172 Washington Boulevard This mini-chain that started in Torrance specializes in the kind of fatty pork bone ramen that's become super-popular in LA over the past five years. Between the spicy tonkotsu and the premium shoyu, you're not gonna do better than this without driving over to Sawtelle.
3819 Main Street People who complain that there's no good New York pizza in LA have clearly never been to LaRocco's. This local spot does everything it can to evoke the feeling of the Big Apple (it’s even got a Statue of Liberty logo), but perhaps the most authentic flourish is the “two slices of pizza and a soda” lunch special.
11222 Washington Place This cash-only taco stand, with its perpetual lines inside and out, is probably the most controversial place on our list, but if you can't see why these hard-shell beef tacos with fluorescent yellow cheese here are the best hard-shell beef tacos with fluorescent yellow cheese ever, we can't be friends.
6114 Washington Boulevard This tiny coffee shop has got all of your expensive and fancy pour-over coffees with single-origin beans, alongside great pastries from Proof in Atwater Village. It’s also got one thing that too many other hipster coffee shops neglect: a cup of regular old drip coffee for three bucks. And on Wednesdays, there's...
6114 Washington Boulevard Most of the time Chef Wes Avila parks his award-winning food truck downtown, but one day a week Culver City wins the taco lottery, getting access to his always-rotating menu of tacos and tostadas that are determined by whatever’s locally available each day. The resulting fare’s good enough to be served in a world-class restaurant -- think sweet potato tacos w/ almond chile, feta, and fried corn, or a poke tostada w/ tuna, white miso, lime, furikake, chile del valle, and avocado.
6000 Sepulveda Boulevard Who says there's no good Chinese food on the Westside!? This food court stall in Westfield Culver City might not be as good as the SGV original, but the beef roll (sweet beef and cilantro wrapped in a thin scallion pancake) is the best Chinese dish you'll find West of the 405.
9748 Washington Boulevard There are plenty of brunch options in Culver City, but none are as good as this old Western-themed diner with a big but no-frills menu -- because sometimes you just want two eggs, over easy with bacon, toast, and a regular cup of coffee for less than $10.
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Tiffany Tse is a Thrillist contributor and still isn’t sick of eating tacos in Culver City. See what she’s eating now by following her at @twinksy.