Hometown meets Hollywoodland — one of the best ways to describe LA’s “Heart of Screenland,” or Culver City. Partners Trust Associate, Nidia Valenzuela, a Culver City native and one of the team’s best when it comes to making clients’ dreams come true, calls Culver City one of LA’s best locales.
Having grown up in the area she’s seen it transform and grow into the tight-knit but super-cool community that it is today. Noting it’s versatility, Nidia says it’s ideal for both families and singles as it’s laced with year round activities and local happenings. Beyond the excitement, Nidia says the real estate in Culver City is top-notch, with a variety of home types and micro-neighborhoods, there’s something for everyone.
But for those of us that just know Culver City as a chatted about area where the Sony Pictures Studios live (you can take studio tours, which is ideal for the movie buff), it’s much more than that. From art and design to a wildly impressive collection of restaurants to community pride, Culver City is the big, little town that you need to experience.
No one has ever doubted the cool factor possessed by Culver City. Not even artists who seem to flock to the area. One in particular, Curtis Kulig, created the city’s “Love Wall” (located at Smashbox Studios, 8549 Higuera St. at Hayden Avenue). An Instagram favorite, locals love this spot as much as Culver City visitors, using it as a backdrop for weddings photos, holiday cards and just as a space to come together, laugh, enjoy a cheeky mural and score a selfie to remember it by.
The community vibe runs deep in Culver City, so it’s an area that keeps the people who live there fully engaged and busy all week long–especially into the summer months when every Thursday there’s live music at City Hall provided by local shop, Boulevard Music. Everything from jazz to blues to bluegrass and award nominated artists show up for your listening pleasure.
Along with music and fantastic happenings like the raved about Culver City Farmer’s Market (happening every Tuesday), the area is committed to visual arts, hosting Culver City Artwalk at the Helms Design Center. From art collectors to enthusiasts to those with just a small interest, there is something to enjoy. Nidia, refers to the whole experience as an, “Art lover’s heaven,” where galleries and pop-ups are always waiting to inspire. Art Walk offers more than just a chance to view the work, but meet the artists too. And you can always count on seeing something fresh and new.
What in the World Shall we Eat?
This side of LA has always been celebrated for its commitment to good food. Some of the fare in Culver City is worth 405 traffic and any Angeleno knows that’s saying quite a bit. With a mix of flavors, Culver City eats have the power to take you around the world. And everyone always wants to spend some time in Paris. Consider it done with dinner at Meet In Paris French Bistro. A quaint and utterly charming spot, this restaurant transports you to one of Paris’ pavement cafes no matter if you’re there for brunch, lunch or dinner. From bottomless mimosas to decadent mussels in a pot of lobster bisque and escargot, you’ll find it all here along with a little Edith Piaf in the background.
Brunch is big in Culver City and before a big trip to score some new home pieces, catching up with your shopping buddy over French Toast or some of the city’s most amazing Belgian Waffles ought to be done at The Wallace. Call in the mimosas or stay true to your cleanse with a carrot ginger turmeric juice. And if you’re avoiding sugar, opt for the Wild Mushroom Toast. But be aware that this hip eatery isn’t a walk-in kind of spot; reservations are recommended, because you’re not the only one who wants that French Toast – to eat and to Instagram. If you want a little afternoon sip and snack within a European ambiance of vintage glamour, stop by the Culver Hotel to indulge in a cup of tea, scones, and decadent finger sandwiches.
LOQUI takes its place among Culver City’s worldly fare, bringing modern Mexican to the forefront. What’s to love about it? Besides the chips and guacamole, their flour tortillas are handmade, something Nidia admits to being genuinely in love with. Another absolute on the menu would be their chicken and mushroom taco, boasting rich flavor that’s almost entrancing. But beyond the Molcajete aka taco bowl, there’s the staff, who are downright awesome, says Nidia. They’re friendly and committed to ensuring you have a pleasant experience. The unfussy, but cool decor and sun-drenched patio help.
When you’ve taken your tastebuds to Paris, to Mexico and to “Flavor Town,” where else do you go? Brazil. Stop in to the small, locally revered spot, Cafe Brazil. Thanks to Culver City’s strong Brazilian community, this place is as authentic as it gets. Here, most of the seating is outdoors and the vibes are transformative. Opt for their steak and chicken plate accompanied by their housemade sauce and chimichurri. Suddenly you’ll think you’re in Rio, but you’re not. You’re just enjoying the housemade Brazilian flan and passion fruit mousse as the sun hits your face. Who knew lunch could take you to such exotic places?
Shopping the Scene
Culver City is often synonymous with creativity. So no surprise that some of LA’s most beloved design spots, call this their home.
The Helms Bakery District overflows with opportunities to “start fresh” and make some design changes to your space or just treat yourself to something new and unique. Everyone’s favorite, HD Buttercup is where you’ll behold the best-of-the-best in furniture, art, rugs, lighting and so much more. It’s a must among designers and design-enthusiasts alike because it’s pretty much where those wonderful pieces you see in editorials come to life and make their way into your home. Even if you don’t make a purchase, you’ll find yourself overloaded with ideas according to Nidia. But wait, there’s more. Still in Helms Bakery District is Scandinavian Design, a minimalist hub for achieving home design’s most on-trend approach right now and The Rug Warehouse–rows and rows of the most beautiful rugs and carpets you’ve ever laid eyes on.
And if you don’t get lost in the design magic of Helms, you can make your way over to Platform. A fresh shopping spot that houses unique locales (including LOQUI) such as Soulcycle, Tom Dixon Design Studio, Blue Bottle Coffee, Aesop, Linda Farrow, Janessa Leone and a wealth of fun pop-up shops year round. Tinged with local flavor, but boasting an ultra-hip spirit, Platform–located by the Metroline–is one of Nidia’s absolutes in Culver City.