Salad Lovers, Get to the Point
There can be beauty even in a quick-serve office-building canteen — Josiah Citrin and Rafael Lunetta taught us that at Lemon Moon. But even in downtown Culver City, a neighborhood as thick with great sandwich shops as practically anywhere outside Rosemead’s banh mi district, the Point is pretty great. The slick cafeteria, caked with stainless steel, is the newest project of Kazuto Matsusaka (who helmed the kitchen at Chinois in its 1980s glory days) and Vicki Fan, who run the nearby bistro Beacon. Pressed sandwiches, organic miso soup, ancho-chile chicken-salad wraps, etc., are some of the lunch basics. There are omelets and homemade granola in the morning, and microwavable meals of meat loaf or stuffed chicken breast to take home at night. But the basic currency at the Point is the make-your-own salad station, a splendid marriage of the fresh-tossed-salad concept of Tender Greens up the street and the infinite customization you find at Santa Monica’s burger bar The Counter. Once you master the intricate matrix of preferences you tick off from a checklist, the mix of superfresh lettuces and optional ingredients ends up running everywhere from a classic tuna niçoise to a Japanese-ish salad with miso and edamame to a sweet Chinese-tinged salad with pecans, wispy fried noodles and an orange-sesame dressing. (Whatever I think I am personally ordering always ends up overwhelmed by blue cheese and Nueske’s bacon, but my obsessions are what they are.) And the butterscotch pudding may be the best I’ve tasted in Los Angeles since Wolfgang Puck’s Eureka shut its doors. 8522 National Blvd., Culver City, (310) 836-8400. Open Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Beer and wine. AE, MC, V.
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