An old school red “liquor” sign jets out from the mundane buildings along the Arts District corridor proclaiming the spot of your first location, Bar & Garden. As you enter the beautiful space is surpassed by the pleasant encouragement to “head on back” to the tasting. Apparently, trust goes a long way here. Gingerly stepping to the back of the store you’re greeted with an indoor tree, happy sommeliers and a group of lovely people sampling the latest natural wines. You’re handed a glass with your first sampling as you poorly attempt to digest the detailed information on the varietals while easily sucking down the juice. Rotating around the tree between whites and reds you find the hour flashes by as fast as the bottles disappear. Happily buzzed and pleasantly surprised your tasting is over but your night has just begun.
The few minutes walk down Washington Blvd. exposes the old and new worlds of Culver City. After sneaking under the train tracks and popping into the beautiful new world of the Platform you’ll happily enter Hayden. The classic tunes set the vibe as work friends release their weekly woes next to boyfriends reuniting after a long days grind. Within a few minutes you’re toasting a glass of rose above a lovely collection of oysters on ice. Conversation rolls seamlessly with the music as the busy bees filter in. When your glasses are empty and the ice begins to melt it will mark your time to really get fresh.
You step into Culver City’s past the instant you cross the Helm’s Bakery lot. A gleaming artifact of the manufacturing days of ol is now chock full of a new kind of textile: delicious food. Beaming out from the corner location is Pasta Sisters, the new kid. After finding the entrance and taking your place in the queue you hear the calm accented words from Francesco, “Don’t worry it moves fast”. Between searching for your choice on the menu and a seat amongst the melee of excited people, delectable food and hungry stomachs the time goes by fluidly. When your long awaited prize arrives at the table you’ll not only be ready to stuff your face but also indulge slowly as to savor every last drop of sauce. In that moment you realize the blend of an era passed combined with what we have moving forward is the ultimate reward in this city.