Grown-Up Culver City Restaurants Your Kids Will Enjoy
We cherish our children. We adore their faces, we delight in their little voices, we treasure every new milestone they overcome. But rarely do we love experiencing those miracles at restaurants.
Most moms and dads who aren’t into buffets or singing rodents or eating dinner by the light of a pinball machine are happy to wait awhile. For a good dinner at a nice restaurant, they’ll bide their time until the kids get older and have developed more patience, or they’ll call a babysitter for the evening. But if you live in Culver City, you can actually go out to eat now. You have the good fortune to live near a number of excellent restaurants with kid-friendly menu options, friendly wait staff, and the kind of floorplan that leaves a little space between tables.
Keep in mind, these are family friendly places--they are not “family restaurants,” per se. Children should never be left unsupervised or allowed to run around or climb; a loving adult should take crying children outside until they calm down; and if your table sticks the waitstaff with a big mess, it’s encouraged that you leave a commensurate tip. But if you’re looking for a place with a fairly forgiving environment, where both parents and kids will love the food, these are the Culver City restaurants where you’re going to want to go. Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order.
Editor's Note 3/25/15: We have removed 041 Bacaro from the list as it has closed.
Akasha: Local, organic, sustainable, hand-crafted, artisan; fair trade purveyors, small family farms. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect way to feed your family then you clearly don’t live on the Westside. Akasha describes itself as “rustic New American,” but with dishes like roasted garlic hummus, house made pork sausage flatbread pizza, star anise and sake shortribs, punjabi mung beans and rice, and sicilian cauliflower, they deliver a spectrum of flavors from all over. Akasha only offers a kid’s menu at brunch, but for those with a taste for the less exotic, there are fried chicken sliders, a few types of fries, and a bunch of burgers. If you’re looking for simpler still, you can try the Akasha Cafe, with bagels, breakfast and bakery items, sandwiches, soups, and salads. 9543 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 845-1700.
Brunello Trattoria: You’ll recognize all of the Italian-American classics at this family-run restaurant on Washington. Dishes like bruschetta al pomodoro, carpaccio, caprese, pizza, linguine vongole, cannelloni, chicken parmigiana and ossobuco. There’s a dedicated children’s menu, and gluten-free pasta is available upon request. For those looking for ways to eat well while saving money, Brunello Trattoria offers discounts on Monday nights. Service comes with a smile--and often a genuine Italian accent, too. 6001 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 280-3856.
Kay ‘n Dave’s: Fast, consistent food, great service, and chips and salsa are delivered to the table right away. Grown-ups can enjoy lamb birria (slow-cooked lamb in a pasilla chili sauce), tropical enchiladas (enchiladas filled with grilled spinach, mushrooms and onions in a tomato jalapeno sauce served with pineapple salsa), salmon burritos and all the classic Mexican favorites, plus vegetarian and vegan dishes and a selection of burgers and sandwiches. There’s a varied kid’s menu. They’ve also got great margaritas. What’s not to love? 9341 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 558-8100.
La Dijonaise: If the brightly-lit, tot-level dessert display at the front of the restaurant isn’t too much of a distraction, you’ll find something for everyone at this casual French bistro. Green salads, fruit salads, Salade Niçoise, crepes, quiches, sandwiches, and a selection of entrees from steak to seafood and pasta (including vegetarian choices). While La Dijonaise does not have a kid’s menu, there are enough kid-friendly items to satisfy even the pickiest eater, and portions are large enough to share with Mom or Dad (or a sibling). Once you’re done dining, head across the promenade to La Bella Cosa, a little family-run furniture store with lots of cute kid’s things. 8703 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 287-2770.
Novecento Pasta & Grill: This is a small, family-run Italian restaurant, hidden in plain sight on Main Street. Novecento is small and cozy, but there always seems to be plenty of room for everyone. Bread is brought to the table right away, so cranky little ones will quickly have something to keep them calm. ravioli della nonna, spaghetti carbonara and gnocchi gorgonzola are customer favorites. 3837 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 842-3838.