With time to kill on the Westside and a pile of projects to review, I needed a place to plant myself. Turned out to be the perfect conditions for a late lunch at Culver City newcomer Akasha. One of the wide squishy leather bar stools was mine for a couple of hours, along with the expansive crushed limestone bar counter. (The surface is wide and deep enough to be functional in any design studio.)
I ordered wine first, food second. (Should be the other way around especially at lunch, right?) The extremely dark fruit-heavy Prisoner wine doesn’t play nice with Akasha’s many light veggie organic dishes. So what to do? Steak salad, natch. The dressing had the right bite, and the cheese and red onions gave the salad enough kick to stand up to the wine. Which was very necessary, since the steak itself, though tender, was quite under-seasoned, and the multigrain toast points were a total snore.
Chocolate hemp gelato with caramelized bananas epitomizes Akasha's reigning eco-chicness. The hemp factor, while interesting, just winds up diluting the chocolate flavor, but the bananas are revelatory – layers of clean crisp sugar skin coddle sweet smooth banana within. It's the raw and the cooked, with the best of each. The cookies taste oddly eggy, though.
Extremely convivial service, a lofty green agenda, sophisticated design sense, fresh fruit cocktails (L.A. has enough places doing this to have far exceeded the three-is-a-trend axiom), and an ideally eclectic iPod mix is something I’d love to stumble upon every day. Music sounds amazing in this space, giving me that "I gotta buy / go home and listen to this" feeling I get in record stores.
I have to admit, Akasha’s soaring ceiling and mixed decorative textures give me a touch of neighborhood restaurant envy, especially given the proximity to its neighbors. The state of affairs at Sunset and Vine is comparatively sad, indeed. Again, the hungry public is rewarded for Culver City's smart planning and redevelopment efforts.
9543 Culver Blvd.
Culver City 90232