Metro Daycation: Culver City
Welcome to Metro Daycation, our new series exploring Los Angeles’ Metro system, presenting a host of entertainment and cultural opportunities, all located within one mile of a Metro stop. This month, we explore Culver City.
Founded by real estate developer Harry Culver and incorporated on September 20, 1917, making this autumn its centennial, Culver City’s moniker, “the Heart of Screenland,” is derived from the fact that several notable films, including The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, were shot here. It is currently the home of Sony Pictures Studios, on the site of what was once Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.
Culver City has a robust, walkable downtown area, with plenty to see, eat and do, including one of Los Angeles’ weirdest museums.
Get There: From the Metro Red or Purple lines, head to the 7th Street/Metro Center station. Get off and transfer to the Metro Expo Line and take it west to the Culver City station.
3515 Helms Avenue
This surprisingly spacious coffeehouse is pleasantly tucked away on a quiet side street, allowing guests to work peacefully both inside or on the patio. The coffee is roasted in-house via a roaster that is visible within the shop. Menu items include espresso, tea, coffee sodas and drip coffee and they offer both cow’s milk and a house-made hazelnut milk. Breakfast foods are available until 2 p.m. e
ach day, with options including avocado toast, egg sandwiches and yogurt parfaits. Those who get coffee to-go will be given a glass mason jar with a well-sealed lid and will receive 25 cents towards their next drink should they return with the same jar. Open daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9426 Washington Boulevard
310 280 9355
Make Out is one of Culver City’s pricier breakfast options, but for vegetarians and vegans, there are several options as everything the eatery serves is plant-based. Their menu includes colorful acai and quinoa bowls, salads, flatbreads, sweets and smoothies. Guests to this fast-casual spot can grab things to go, or sit inside or on the patio. Open daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
ARTS & CULTURE
Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Boulevard
310 836 6131
The Museum of Jurassic Technology is perhaps Los Angeles’ most bizarre museum. The collection is vast and varied, with no real connecting threads but a sense of the surreal. Exhibits include portraits of Soviet-era space dogs; miniature sculptures of historical figure as carved by artist Hagop Sandaldijan; and several sets of decaying dice submitted by magician Ricky Jay. For a complete experience, leave extra time to enjoy a cup of tea and a cookie in the museum’s Russian tea garden. Open on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Begin at Hayden Avenue and National Boulevard
Take a stroll around Hayden Tract to see some of the oddest architecture Los Angeles has to offer. Architect Eric Own Moss revamped seve
ral buildings in the area from standard warehouses into visually complex curiosities. The Samitaur Tower is a tw
isting monolith, while the Beehive Building is shaped like, well, a beehive. Another structure hoists potted cacti several feet in the air. While many of these buildings are currently offices, one undulating, two-story structure known as The Waffle Building is
set to become chef Jordan Kahn’s restaurant Vespertine, which will off
er a “four act” tasting for $250 per person.
The Bhagavad-Gita Museum
3764 Watseka Avenue
310 845 9333
Guests to this unique museum will experience a 45-minute guided tour of the Bhagavad-Gita, an ancient Hindu scripture found in the Mahabharata, one of tw
o Sanskrit epic poems. In 1973, a group of International Society for Krishna Consciousness founder Swami Prabhupada disciples went to India to learn clay-working before returning and building the museum with their skills. The museum, which bills itself as “the first American transcendental exhibition,” is open daily from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Guests are advised to call and make a reservation in advance. Individual tickets are $5.
Meet in Paris
9727 Culver Boulevard
310 815 8222
The charming Meet In Paris serves hearty French fare for brunch, lunch and dinner. Expect all the classics: steak tartare, escargot, French onion soup, croque monsieur, crepes, and more, alongside modern favorites like burgers and breakfast wraps. They also have an all-you-can-eat mussels options Mondays through Wednesday, as well as daily happy hour form 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., featuring deals on small plates, beer and wine.
3764 Watseka Avenue
310 836 1269
Located next-door to the Bhagavad-Gita Museum and inside a Hare Krishna temple, Govinda’s offers a vegetarian and vegan Indian buffet for lunch and dinner. The simple restaurant is pleasantly casual, and guests pay just $8
for an all-you-can-eat feast. Load up your cafeteria trays with rice, soups, vegetable dishes and halva and enjoy the good vibes.
8850 Washington Boulevard
310 883 5138
It’s hard to miss Platform, a mixed-used retail and restaurant development,
thanks to its trippy neon mural by artist Jen Stark. Inside, find numerous high-end shops including Reformation (clothing), Aesop (body products), and Poketo (gifts, home goods). In addition to Platform’s permanent shops, they also host a rotating selection of food and retail pop-ups.
Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Boulevard
213 628 2772
Once a movie theater, this 317-playhouse is now home to the Center Theatre Group. The Center Theater Group is active in several venues around town, but the Kirk Douglas is where they show their new, edgier works. If you can’t get tickets to Hamilton at the Pantages, you could check out Spamilton at the Kirk Douglas this season.
The Actors’ Gang
9070 Venice Boulevard
310 838 4264
Founded by in part by Tim Robbins in 1981, the Actors’ Gang now works out of Culver City’s Ivy Station, a historic building that once served as a substation for the Los Angeles Pacific before being converted into a theater. Shows include twists on enduring Greek and Shakespearian works, modern classics and original pieces exploring social justice and society.
3229 Helms Avenue
310 736 2224
ather’s Office is either beloved or begrudged for its burger, which comes topped with caramelized onions and gruyere, but does not allow for any modifications, whatsoever. They also boast a wide selection of beer, which includes 36 taps and several hard-to-fine bottles. Patrons are invited to order at the bar, then take a number back to their seat and wait for their food to arrive. Seating is available inside or on their spacious patio. Open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday; noon to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and noon to midnight on Sundays. (Note: the kitchen closes two hours before the bar each night.)
8850 Washington Boulevard
310 838 2783
The Cannibal is a New York import, offering a meat-centric menu and a solid selection of beers, wine and cocktails. Despite the focus on steaks, sausages and charcuterie, there are also several seasonal vegetable dishes and seafood options as well. During the day, guests may also stop by the Cannibal’s butcher shop for meats, salads, vegetables, beer, wine, and take-away sandwiches. Open for lunch and dinner during the week, and bunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. The Butcher shop is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Culver Hotel’s Grand Lobby
9400 Culver Boulevard
310 558 9400
The historic Culver Hotel was built by Harry Culver in 1924. Due to its proximity to MGM—now Sony Pictures—the hotel has its place in movie history. The most famous piece of local lore is that the cast of The Wizard of Oz stayed here during filming in 1938. Today, visitors ca
n stop by the hotel’s Grand Lobby for cocktails and live jazz, which occurs daily at 7:30 p.m. Happy hour, which is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., offers $9 cocktails and deals on beer and wine.
3833 Main Street
310 202 6400
In addition to serving California cuisine for brunch, lunch and dinner, The Wallace also has a strong selection of creative cocktails, plus wine and beer. Examples include the ET Foam Home, made with gin, St. Germain, lemon, marjoram and creme de violette foam; or the Cowboy Killer with Griff’s Cowboy Whiskey, chocolate chili bitters, tobacco and hickory smoke. If that’s too rich for your blood, you can always leave your mixology-obsessed friend to their own devices and get the Chef’s Special: a shot of Four Roses and “the champagne of beers.”