Harry Culver's birthday was January 22, and the celebrations will continue throughout February. Only Harry won't be there. The founder of Culver City, Culver was born in 1880 and died in Hollywood August 17, 1946. For several years he kept an office in the Culver Hotel. And so the hotel is honoring him with a special menu that traces his life.
The courses represent his childhood in Nebraska, service in the Spanish American War, early jobs in Manila and his entry into real estate. In 1913, Culver announced plans to form Culver City, which was incorporated Sept. 20, 1917. The hotel opened in 1924 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places (the cast of The Wizard of Oz famously stayed there during filming). Peter Dickinson, food and beverage manager, has designed the biographical menu and optional drink pairings.
First up is "The Cornhusker," a spiced chowder with cornbread crouton and Jisa's Farmstead cheese, paired with 11th Hour Rye IPA from Omaha. Then comes "Spanish War Sustenance," tomatoes stuffed with fish and artichokes served with a cuba libre. Manila, where Culver wrote for The Manila Times, inspired adobong baboy, or pork adobo, accompanied by tapuy, a rice wine from the Philippines. Pacific salmon steak with Coppola Director's Cut Chardonnay signals his creation of Culver City.
As Culver liked to say, "all roads lead to Culver City," and diners wind up there with apple pie a la mode and an oatmeal cookie martini. Too bad Culver can't join them. The special menu, available until the end of February, is $29 for food only or $42 with drink pairings.
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The Culver Hotel: 9400 Culver Blvd., Culver City. (310) 558-9400.