Ask most food-obsessed folks (including this one) about his or her favorite restaurant in Culver City, and the answer likely will involve Sang Yoon. His two businesses in the Helms Bakery complex, Lukshon and Father's Office, stand head and shoulders above most of the restaurants in this part of town in terms of originality and flavor.
There are a couple of events coming up where you can see Yoon's cooking in action: tomorrow Lukshon will be at L.A. Weekly's Essentials event, and in a few weeks he'll be participating in the East West Masters Dinner at the All Star Chef's Classic.
So what does Yoon eat when he's not eating his own food? Who better to guide us to the best places to eat and drink in and around Culver City than the guy who made it that much more delicious? Here are his five recommendations.
“Gutsy, spicy, authentic Indian flavors with really fresh ingredients along with inspired, top-notch cocktails. Order the truck-stop goat curry and the masala chicken wings. The turmeric naan is possibly the best naan I’ve ever had.” 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City; (310) 558-8800, sambarcc.com.
4. Samosa House
“My favorite takeout joint, where I go to channel my inner vegetarian. Get the smoked cauliflower — you won’t miss the meat.” 10700 Washington Blvd., Culver City; (310) 559-6350, samosahouse.com.
“Literally a fish-out-of-water story. Kaiseki this good belongs in Ginza — the whole experience makes you forget you’re still in the U.S. altogether. Niki’s presentation and delivery is spot-on, and I’m looking forward to cooking alongside her next month at the All-Star Chef Classic's East West Masters Dinner.” 3455 S. Overland Ave., Palms; (310) 836-6252, n-naka.com.
2. Santouka Ramen
“My favorite ramen in L.A. Get the spicy miso with extra pork.” 3760 S.Centinela Ave., Mar Vista; (310) 391-1101, santouka.co.jp.
1. The Mandrake
“This place makes you feel artsy and cool even if you're not. Great music with zero pretension.” 2692 S. La Cienega Blvd., Mid-City; (310) 837-3297, mandrakebar.com.