Culver City Observer -

New Culver Hotel Dining Menus Offer Something For Everybody


December 25, 2014

For its 90th birthday The Historic Culver Hotel gave itself a monumental makeover.

From a complete renovation of the guest rooms and public areas and a brand-new Prohibition-inspired cocktail list to a Roaring Twenties-themed birthday bash, the iconic Grande Dame is looking marvelous with its vintage meets modern decor.

And now the Jewel of Downtown Culver City is unveiling the last piece of its remake: an entirely new Dining Program offering something for everyone.

"Because of the eclectic crowd we get we tried to create a similarly interesting set of dishes to satisfy every palate," says Owner Maya Mallick.

The abundance of tasty fare begins in the morning with The Culver Hotel's Daily Brunch. Iit does not have to be the weekend for you to savor favorites like Steak & Eggs or a Bistro Omelet. Brunch is served from 7 am to 11 am every weekday, and until 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. (Sundays are extra-special, with Live Jazz from 11 am to 2 pm, and an exclusive Sunday Brunch Special offering coffee, tea, juice, breads, pastries, and your choice of entrée for $26, or all that plus Bottomless Mimosas for $35).

"Our brunch caters to both hotel guests and locals from the neighborhood," says General Manager Seth Horowitz. "You can get a casual and quick meal or you can stay a while and make it something really grand."

Taking a breakfast classic to another level, the French Toast is made with thick-cut artisanal bread stuffed with rich cream cheese and topped with a tart-and-sweet strawberry Grand Marnier syrup.

Another favorite, Eggs Benedict, can be ordered with the traditional Canadian bacon, thinly sliced smoked salmon or indulgent crab cakes along with poached eggs and hollandaise on an English muffin.

Two unique brunch items serve as a tribute to the hotel's vibrant history: The John Wayne (named for the screen legend who, the story goes, won The Culver Hotel from Charlie Chaplin in a poker game) is a hearty meal of roasted potatoes, ham, cheese, tomato sauce, fried eggs and a corn tortilla, served up in a skillet.

The Breakfast Culver Burger is an especially delightful treat, comprised of a thick Kobe beef patty topped with a fried egg, charred onion and peppers, a zesty black pepper sauce and Huntsman cheese (a combination of creamy double Gloucester and tangy Stilton).

After brunch, The Culver Hotel switches over to an all-day menu. Instead of trying to dictate what's for lunch and what's for dinner, the hotel offers everything from salads and sandwiches to shareable plates and high-end entrees available from when breakfast ends until the kitchen closes.

Whether you want to have a business lunch, a casual dinner, after-work happy hour or a date, there is something delicious for everyone at any time for any type of meal.

The menu features a vast array all kinds of fresh produce, sourced mainly from Southern California farms. Chef Samuel Vasquez will build an incredible bacon cheeseburger, but also offers a variety of healthy, vegetarian and vegan options.

Among the lighter choices are, the Red Organic Quinoa Salad, which adds grilled asparagus, cherry tomatoes, mushroom, avocado, cucumber and basil-lime vinaigrette. Then there is the Mediterranean influenced Farro and Kale Salad, with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, watermelon radish, fried shallots and crunchy roasted pepitas. The house-made Salmon Burger comes on a whole-grain bun and features toppings such as balsamic-caramelized onions, sun-dried tomato confit, dill aioli and creamy avocado.

There is even a unique creation behind a mundane name: The Turkey Club replaces sliced turkey with a grilled house-made turkey patty alongside bacon, tomato, avocado, lettuce and date compote.

"It is almost like a turkey burger with traditional club-sandwich ingredients," Horowitz says. "We wanted to have a little fun with a dish that is all too familiar."

Feeling a little hungrier? Turn the page to the Pastas and Entrees. There you will find satisfying options like Bucatini al Frutti di Mare, a mix of mussels, clams and prawns on pasta with a spicy tomato sauce. On the seafood scene, you can also try Maine Scallops, served on a bed of saffron-infused Israeli couscous, or Chilean Sea Bass, pan-roasted with seasonal vegetables and paired with charred kale and a spicy broth.

A favorite is the Short Ribs, cooked to utter tenderness and served with veggies, a potato cake, au jus glaze and horseradish cream in a sizzling iron skillet. "The flavor profile is absolutely delicious. The horseradish cream adds such a kick and the presentation is great. The sizzling skillet turns every head in the dining room whenever this dish comes out," states Horowitz.

If you go to The Culver Hotel with a group to enjoy cocktails and the nightly Live Jazz beginning at 7:30 pm in the Grand Lobby, the Shared Plates should draw your attention.

The Trio Tempura Veggies includes green beans, Portobello mushrooms and onion rings fried to crunchy perfection and sauced with Meyer lemon aioli, while the Fisherman's Fritto boasts crispy-fried shrimp and calamari in a spicy tomato sauce. Or indulge with the Culver Sliders Duo of a beef patty with crimini mushroom sauce and a lamb patty with guajillo chiles and tzatziki, and the Crawfish & Lobster Dip, a cheesy, garlicky concoction served with a generous helping of warm, house-baked pita bread. Definitely decadent but divine.

The Culver's Happy Hour is the ideal time for an after-work bite. Every day from 4 pm to 7 pm, beer and wine are only $5, cocktails from the new speakeasy-inspired list are $7. An assortment of tasty appetizers are available for $5 and $6 like the Street Tacos filled with beef or the tempura-battered Fish Tacos.

Let us not forget the house made desserts, one of the Chef's specialties. Get a buzz with the Affogato, vanilla gelato "drowned" in espresso with a garnish of chocolate-covered coffee beans. Or immerse yourself in Chocolate Bliss, a molten dark-chocolate cake topped with caramel and dark chocolate, seasonal berries and gelato.

Can't decide? Try the Dessert Mini Bites instead for an assortment of sweet treats in one-bite sizes.

Brunch, lunch, dinner, happy hour, dessert...The Culver Hotel will keep you happy at all hours of the day or night. For special occasions the hotel's Grand Lobby offers guests a lovely High Tea experience fit for groups from 2 to 30, the elegant Full Tea includes a choice of Loose-Leaf Teas, freshly Baked Scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, a selection of Pastries and Mignardises, as well as your favorite assorted Finger Sandwiches.

Upgrade to The Culver Tea and you will also get Fresh Berries and Cream and a glass of Champagne for each guest. "Whether a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday gathering or just a mother-daughter date, High Tea is a way for anybody to get that old-fashioned grand hotel treatment," Mallick says. "After all, what could be more special during the afternoon than a perfect cup of tea?"

Besides the delicious food, another draw of The Culver Hotel is that you can enjoy it in several different settings depending what mood you are in. The bustling Grand Lobby serves as guest reception, restaurant and bar, with both traditional tables and comfy couches available for regular or lounge seating.

For a bit of fresh air head outside to the French Garden Patio and soak up the California sunshine. Or step into the Crystal Dining Room adjoining the lobby, an elegant and more secluded space that can also seat up to 60 for a private event. For hotel guests of course, everything on the menu is available through room service while the kitchen remains open.

For The Culver Hotel, this milestone year has meant a complete renovation as well as a revitalization of the food and beverage program and a truly legendary Prohibition-era 90th Birthday Ball. Turning 90 never looked so good.

The Culver Hotel's beautifully designed interior and versatile event spaces offer flexible layout options that can be customized to suit all specific decorative and audiovisual needs. From executive seminars, breakfast meetings, corporate gatherings, creative workshops, cocktail parties, speakeasy soirees, weddings, rehearsal dinners, birthday celebrations, themed events and farm to table dinners, The Culver Hotel's experienced event team takes pride in making every event just the way you imagine it to be. Boasting 46 hotel rooms, a full bar and private lounge, The Culver Hotel makes it so you will never want to leave.

The Culver Hotel's Grand Lobby Bar & Kitchen is open weekdays from 7 am to 10 pm and on weekends from 7:00 am to Midnight. Brunch is available on weekdays from 7 am until 11 am, and on weekends from 7 am until 3 pm.

For more information or reservations, please visit or call The Culver Hotel directly at 310.558.9400. For reservations, you can also email


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