Serving meals at non-traditional times is hardly a new concept (empires have been built on slinging Moons Over My Hammy at 3 a.m.), but restaurateur Michelle Nigro is hoping that Lunch in Culver City (Twitter: @eatatlunch) is a hit long after the midday crowds have returned to their cubicles. Soft-opened three weeks ago, the small restaurant held its grand opening on Saturday, showcasing chef Sal Celona's menu of nine salads (avg. $8-10) and over a dozen sandwiches (avg. $8-11). Between M Cafe de Chaya and the original Tender Greens location, Lunch is helping transform the corner of Culver Blvd. and Main St. into "salad central."
Currently open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Nigro hopes to transform Lunch into an evening hangout à la the Otheroom or Laurel Tavern. She plans to double the beer list to 20 brews and replace some of the more pedestrian beers currently on the menu with craft beers. She's launching a weekly live music night in March and plans to host beer-and-sandwich pairings, wine tastings and trivia nights to draw in the evening crowd.
For his part, Celona, who previously worked at BLT Steak and before that at Olives in New York City under chef Todd English, will add a couple of daily specials to the dinner menu. Think comfort food: meatloaf and mashed potatoes, pasta, that sort of thing. DIY-ers can build their own sandwiches, choosing their favorite bread, protein (prosciutto is an option), cheese, toppings (cranberries, artichoke hearts and caramelized onions, to name just a few) and spreads (two dozen at last count).
Soon, Lunch will have some competition from next door neighbor Libra, a pay-by-the-pound Korean-Brazilian barbecue joint that's on the verge of opening.
Lunch: 3829 Main St., Culver City, 90232. (310) 837-6200.Libra: 3833 Main St., Culver City, 90232.