Culver City Observer -

Chalet Edelweiss Will Have You Singing Its Praises


October 29, 2015

“One of the joys of dining out is you don’t have to bite off more than you can chew; you can always ask for a doggy bag.” ~ Sandra Coopersmith

The Bachofner family’s Chalet Edelweiss, just minutes from LAX, was inspired by The Sound of Music and life in the Alps, one great mountain range stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east, through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany, to France in the west. This colorful mix of seven countries is reflected in a diverse menu of world fare.

“Now, if you are in the mood for a typical Swiss meal, it would be the Swiss Cheese Fondue,” Stefan Bachofner suggested. “We use a variety of cheeses, melted and cooked in white wine. Fondue is served in a special pot called caquelon that is kept warm by the flame of a burner, so the cheese keeps bubbling while you are eating. It is a tradition to take turns with your own special fork to dip pieces of crusty bread into the fondue. You’d better not lose your piece of bread, or else . . . In Swiss tradition, if a piece of bread is lost in the cheese by a man, he buys a bottle of wine, and if such a thing happens to befall a woman, she kisses the man on her left.”

The very extensive menu features such delicacies as Swiss Mac Cheese "G'hackets Mit Hörnli," elbow macaroni topped with Swiss cheese and their Italian ground beef gravy sauce, served with a side of applesauce.

The desserts, including a Swiss Style "Apfelchüechli" consisting of sliced apples dipped in a beer batter, golden fried, dusted with cinnamon-sugar, and served with vanilla ice cream, are truly something to yodel about.

And don’t miss the Sunday brunch on the first Sunday of each month.

True to their European roots, the family serves Erdinger, Bavarian wheat beer, as well as Bitburger Pils on tap. The giant Bavarian pretzels come straight from Germany and are served with sweet mustard, a great appetizer to share with friends. The wood fired pizza oven is much like those in Italy or in Ticino, the south part of Switzerland. “And our patio is great for this hot summer weather we are still having,” Bachofner added.

It’s not that much of a stretch to think of Sound of Music’s Maria adding Chalet Edelweiss to her list of favorite things.

Chalet Edelweiss

8740 Sepulveda Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90045

(310) 645-8740

Daily 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Culture Meets Cuisine at The Brownstone Bistro

Owner and Certified Executive Chef Clive Jackson, who has over 30 years of professional experience in fine dining and catering, possesses the prized CEC designation awarded by the American Culinary Federation, which operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States. It’s not exactly a piece of cake to acquire this designation as it is a true test of skills, along the lines of a competition on the Food Network.

Jackson’s extensive culinary background includes having been Executive Chef for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, where he learned a wide range of international cuisines that include French, Italian, Tex-Mex, American Steakhouse, Asian American, Caribbean and Mediterranean. And dining at The Brownstone Bistro will take one’s taste buds on a cruise they will never forget.

Imagine, for example, sitting down to pan-roasted rosemary chicken breast with maple mushroom reduction, garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, just one of the many delectable dishes offered. Or perhaps fresh pan-seared salmon pasta, with lobster brandy cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms on penne pasta. And, of course, topping off the meal with one of the pièce de résistance desserts such as sweet potato cheesecake, a special recipe featuring chocolate sauce, butterscotch brandy sauce and fresh whipped cream.

By putting his own individual stamp on traditional dishes and blending California Nouveau to create original and exciting creations that are as pleasing to the eye as to the palate, Jackson has diners eagerly looking forward to their next adventure. And, fortunately, with an extensive menu that includes cocktails, a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts as well as a Thursday buffet from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and a Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., they will have many opportunities to savor his magic.

The Brownstone Bistro

5047 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

(323) 965-9400

Tues.-Sat. 4 p.m.-11 p.m.

Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Crème de la Crepe Bistro for Ooh La La Dining

You can’t say Robert Charney, owner of Crème de la Crepe Bistro in Culver City’s Westfield Mall, goes to work every day. When you truly love what you’re doing, it’s not really work.

“The treat for me is seeing people enjoy a meal with family and friends and talking with customers,” he said. “I never get tired of hearing their compliments!”

Breakfast options include waffles, French toast, buckwheat or sweet crepes, eggs any style, and omelets. “We get rave reviews about our Breakfast Burrito, which is unique to this location,” Charney said. “It’s made with freshly scrambled eggs, our house Pico de Gallo, chili mayo and avocado.”

Later, in addition to a selection of savory crepes, all served with baby greens and made with gluten-free batter, diners have a variety of choices with appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, quiches, pastas and risottos, all distinctive and delicious, as well as entrees that include such intriguing dishes as Merguez, spicy lamb sausage on couscous with Madeira mushroom sauce.

Save room for dessert, because no one should go through life without experiencing the Fondue au Chocolat, served with seasonal fruit. Or choose from one of the incredible crepes and, if you’re feeling creative, make your own with an assortment of toppings and fruits and the option to flambé.

And who wouldn’t be happy with a daily Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. that features a variety of dishes that can best be described as magnifique? “We offer 50% off appetizers and dessert crepes as well as $4 draft and $4 house wine,” Charney added. “Many times I see people enjoying the cheese plate or cheese fondue with a glass of wine.” And for those who crave escargots, run, don’t crawl, for an opportunity to savor this culinary delight.

Bon appétit!

Crème de la Crepe Bistro

Westfield Mall

6000 Sepulveda Blvd.

Culver City, CA 90230

(Entrance outside near Forever 21)

(310) 391-8818

Daily 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Chicken and More Served up at Dinah’s

Few reside in Culver City or its neighboring towns who don't know that the friendly atmosphere, ample menu, generous portions and family prices of traditional East coast diners can be found right here in Southern California at Dinah's. Wait to be seated at a cozy vintage booth and choose from a menu featuring everything from omelettes to tacos to triple-decker sandwiches to prime rib...and don't forget their signature finger-lickin' fried chicken. Pay at the door with a smile and a nod and never walk away hungry. Conveniently located on Sepulveda just above the Westfield Fox Hills Mall and just below The Bridge Marketplace at Howard Hughes Center, Dinah's is the perfect place to take a lunch break during or kick back at the end of a day of holiday shopping and festivities.

And if the in-laws are coming for Turkey day and you can't bare the thought of too many cooks in the kitchen before dinner and not enough hands on deck to clean up the mess after, Take Thanksgiving off this year, Mom, and let Dinah's do the cooking. Order Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings to go, heat it up and serve in less than 2 hours with nothing to clean but the dinner plates.

Special Thanksgiving Dinner Take-Out -$99.99 +tax. Serves 8 - 10 people. 1.5 hrs to heat turkey. Dine-in Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings served with a non alcoholic beverage, soup or salad and pie- $19.95 Adults, $16.95 Children.

1 12 to 14 lb fresh roasted Turkey

2 1 quart old fashioned Stuffing

3 2 quarts of Mashed Potatoes

4 1 quart of Giblet Gravy

5 1 quart of Candied Yams

6 1 quart of vegetables (Choose Carrots, Green Beans, Creamed Spinach)

7 1 pint of Cranberry Sauce

8 12 Dinner Rolls or loaf of cornbread

9 1 Pie (Choose Pumpkin or Apple)


6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd., LA

(S. of Jefferson) (310) 645-0456

HOURS: Mon - Sun 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

A Tribute to Gus Prado

By Vincent Williams Founder of Honey’s Kettle

It’s not often we meet extraordinary people as we journey through life. Many believe there are angels among us. Seemingly, they just show up, almost out of nowhere. And when you look back over your life you realize that these certain individuals had a profound effect on you.

One such person was my landlord, Mr. Gus Prado, who has left behind a legacy I’m compelled to speak about. For over 10 years now I can say I got to know him.

Tributes to him have poured in. How he left an indelible mark on Culver City, the Ballona Creek Festival, Rush Street Restaurant, and Honey’s Kettle Restaurant along with many other deeds. He is a man who gave so much of himself to his family, this community, and this country. He was also a proud son of his homeland, Cuba.

With as many bad things going on with our human race, I want to use him to report that the light still shines bright, that good people and the good things that they do still abound. Gus was an exemplar of that good.

At his funeral service, his son, Ed, spoke of a father who saw wonderment in everything--how he beamed with excitement; the way he praised his kids and loved his wife, Mayra.

When asked by the priest what one word best described Gus, his wife said, “Joyful.” Even despite the cruel experiences his family suffered in Cuba when their freedoms were robbed when the revolutionary government nationalized everything. That did not stop him. That did not get him down. It lifted him up.

He told me that when he arrived in this country he bought a car. He drove it all the way from Florida to Culver City, where it conked out. He asked a lady if he could rent a room from her. She said, “Yes. Go get your stuff.” He responded, “I have all my stuff on me.”

The man went on to buy that apartment building! These are the classic stories that America is so full of. I can’t tell you all that he accomplished, but I can tell you that if my vision serves me correctly, when my business, Honey’s Kettle, grows up, it will owe a great deal of the credit to this extraordinary man—from here to forever.

Talk about “pass it on.” The day I met him I just gave him my business card. Immediately, he said, “I think this would be good for downtown.” That same day, he gave me the keys, took down the “For Lease” sign, told us he would not ask for financial statements (knowing that would end our efforts), and began dreaming along with me.

If a man seeks a mentor and gets one like Gus, he has a treasured beginning and a true blessing. People have to believe in you. And in turn, you must honor them; show respect at all times, and listens closely when they speak. It’s amazing what will happen. I was so inspired by him that I wanted to make his building a great place-- world class in every way. And each time I saw him, I wanted to say, “Gus, look what else I did.”

During the first 10 years in Culver City every manner of problem came upon me. One day when I was feeling the toll of it all, he said, “You are a strong man. You are going to make it.” Those simple words lifted me. Once again, I wanted to show him that I was strong like he was.

He gave me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I will use that opportunity to give rise to a great company.

Gus, I so miss seeing you walk through the door, but your spirit will always be with me!


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