LA is a vast land of 88 cities and 8 million people, it is no surprise that exploring these new cities and people can sometime feel like a mini vacation. Our friend, French Chef Wife, recently said that despite living in LA for many years she was having her first meal in Slverlake the other night. We understand, as much as we strive to explore, we are still eastsiders in our heart and get annoyed every time we pass the 405. Josie always says that those that love LA the most are the ones that venture out of their regular areas. After a previous weekend in Man Diego, we had the weird feeling that the following weekend had to be epic. What does a vacation include: unusual food, scandalous clothes, stripper poles, meeting new bartenders? We got all of that and only had to venture to Culver City last Saturday night.
Our unusual food for the evening met our vacation standards and actually surpassed them. I had Indonesian food at Simpang in Culver City with The Minty and two yelpers, one of who was a native Indonesian that did all of our ordering. We had several appetizers and plates but I can share with you only my favorites. The first picture was the spider, which Jenny (the Indonesian) ordered prior to us ever sitting down. It was a fabulous vegetable fritter that was fried and looked like its animal name. I also ordered the mie tek tek noodles which were sweet and a good addition to the meal. The rest of the dishes weren’t all that memorable to me and it seems like a lot of work to find the names and cross-reference for spelling. Although, if you would like a complete description that made up our Indonesian feast check The Minty’s post. As with most meals, there was one dish that took the cake. The dish of the night was without question the nasi bungkus! It came wrapped up like a present and you opened up the paper and then the banana leaves to reveal a mixture of rice that had a protein on each corner. There was chicken curry in one corner, beef rendang in another, citrus infused veggies, and eggs. Rather than a boxing match all of these sides worked marvelously together in unison. It was the dish I am sure I will soon crave and have fond memories of, it was fragrant and colorful perfection.
Josie was ready to go out after a long day at work, my partner works 4 jobs and 6 days a week, and joined us at our next stop. After a quick Jameson with The Minty, we all went to Rush Street for a birthday party of another Yelper. The bar was more than packed. According to someone in the party we were only let up to the second floor, where the stripper pole was, with false pretenses and using the name Lauren. Uncouth! Upstairs was so crowded and we had an answer to the age old question: Where do people on the Westside hang out? We stayed for a few hours, Josie got in to a fight with a couple on the dance floor for getting in their stripper pole space and a good night was had by all.
Around midnight, we debated going home but instead opted for checking out the hipster bar the Mandrake. We were amazed by the princess parking in front but we learned that they were closed for a private party. Our other bar in the area to check out was Bigfoot West. Josie and I are regulars at the Bigfoot in Los Feliz, so were excited to check out their second location. It is more sophisticated than the Lodge location but didn’t have that same kitschyness. Sure the bartenders are better, the crowd is cooler (not Rockabilly), but I didn’t like it as much. The stump ceiling was cool but it felt more like a movie set and the shell of a real bar. I suppose you don’t really have to chose, although I think Josie and Minty preferred this West version.
Anyway, Culver City gave us a night to remember. We are so fortunate to live in LA, which offers us so many neighborhood and cities to explore but wherever you live get out of your nook and venture out. Each exploration will act as a vacation to your every day.