Take a “Staycation” at the Newly Revamped Culver Hotel

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The hotel's restaurant bar serves fine gourmet fare.

We hadn’t visited the Culver Hotel in some time. Although it punctuates downtown Culver City nicely, we’d been a bit disappointed with recent visits.  All that’s changed.

Newly revamped with an attentive staff, a dynamic menu and some top-notch entertainment, this place is quickly becoming a go-to spot for those wanting a chic, yet retro vibe on hotel accommodations, a lively night scene, and proximity to the hot spots in downtown Culver City.

The Culver Hotel opened in 1924. Back then, the Culver City Daily News touted the arrival of the hotel as Culver City’s skyscraper. Decades later, this beautifully renovated landmark is now a Member of the National Register of Historic Places, and remains the architectural icon of the downtown area.

The downstairs lounge

There are many stories circulating this hotel, including mysterious tales of mischievous munchkins, secret passageways, and tales of crimes gone awry. Although the passageways have been filled in, the basement still exists, housing a tremendous inventory of furniture, offices, and other rooms to help facilitate the operation of the hotel.

Adjacent to the hotel, you can enjoy a lively walking area filled with restaurants and other cultural amenities. But let’s look inside the hotel, which bustles with activity.

First of all, the bar is pretty much the hub of the hotel. A dynamite menu is available for those wanting to enjoy Happy Hour, dine at night, or enjoy the live entertainment that takes place several times a week. Private parties dominate the dining room and the upstairs areas that can easily accommodate larger parties.

The hotel rooms boast architectural integrity of a bygone era with some modern and updated touches.

On our overnight stay, we were delighted with the upgrades to the rooms. Fine linens and comforters graced the bed, along with a flat-paneled TV, and free Wi-Fi. The pristine bathroom is a nice touch, and overall, the hotel maintains the architectural integrity of a bygone era, with some modern touches to bring it up to the present.

Downstairs in the bar, we secured a good spot near the band, and plotted our selections from the menu.  Starters included a good chunky tuna tartar, with avocado puree, cucumber, wasabi aioli and wonton chips, ($15) ample enough for two.

Green Apple Salad followed, ($10) a nice blend of spinach, candied pecans, sherry vinaigrette and Gorgonzola. This menu is so far removed from usual bar menus; I thought I might have been at one of the finer restaurants in Culver City.

Main courses included the Braised Short Ribs ($15), with sweet corn pudding, fried green tomato and natural jus, along with the innovative Moroccan Hen 2 Ways ($15) braised with almonds, olives, apricots, pearl onions and turmeric, sided with oven toasted couscous.

Good moods prevailed with both us as we settled in for a night of exquisite jazz by he Q-Bet Quartet. Seeing Mark Einhorn blow that sax with his pals put this wonderful evening in perspective, as we lumbered back upstairs to nuzzle into the finery of the room.

THE CULVER HOTEL – 9400 CULVER BLVD. – CULVER CITY – CA. 90232 – TEL.310.558. 9400 – FAX.310.815.0797

Mary McGrath is a freelance writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in many publications including Newsweek, Copley Newspapers, and the LA Times. (www.marymcgrathphotography.com or grathy@aol.com

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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