I am not a hipster, but I can appreciate a cool thing when I see it. Such is the case with PLATFORM, the urban retail/restaurant/office space in Culver City’s Hayden Tract. The compound opened in April, and a hidden courtyard in the middle of all the polished cement, reclaimed wood, and biodegradable-ness is rife with shady spots to hang out on a Saturday. Your new weekend hang is across from the Culver City Metro Expo stop (or snag two hours of free parking in the building with the large Jen Stark mural), and the neighborhood is just starting to discover it. And yes, there is pressed juice (Juice Served Here), acai bowls (Sao Acai), rose gold aviators (Linda Farrow), and free range bison leather goods (Parabellum), in case you were doubting PLATFORM’s millennial verisimilitude. Spend a day there, and here’s what it might entail:
The iced mocha at Blue Bottle is probably the best I’ve ever had. It’s not their fancy $16 Port of Mokha (hey, I needed to save some dough for lunch, too), but it’s delicious. You can sit inside on the padded steps that go up to the second floor, or score a seat on the loft level, or just take your caffeine outside. The place is so new (and minimal, of course) that it still smells like fresh blonde wood. Whoever thought of the built-in shelf for your bag so you can pay more easily at the counter—will you marry me?
The Aussie apothecary gives you a little taste for free with samples of their fantastic (and pricey) balms outside the store. You can find all their grapefruit, rosemary, and cedar-y smelling lotions inside. This branch will be the first in L.A. to offer spa services (hurrah!), but there is currently no ETA on when treatment rooms will be open for business.
Baja style tacos, Mexican Cokes, and something stronger are served underneath strings of peppers lining a cinder block wall. The fellas manning the grills are having such a good time it’s infectious, and the sautéed mushroom tacos on corn tortillas are really nice.
Jennifer McGarigle’s flower, event planning, and home furnishings boutique is the newest shop on the block with an inspired collection of bud vases and candles that you don’t need a Kickstarter campaign to afford. Floral Art design classes happen in her flagship location nearby on Hayden.
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The cathedral-like space shared by Nevena Borissova’s CURVE and interior designer Tom Dixon, is not finished inside, but what is complete is inspiring, from Rodarte shoes to artistic brass writing instruments. Candles mirror the elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, Water), and I’m not quite sure if you actually use the kitchenware or just look at it. This is Brit Tom Dixon’s biggest store in the United States, and there’s a spot near Washington that is slated to be a gorgeous café (Fall 2016).
If the furniture in here looks familiar, it’s because Ilan Dei created much of the outdoor pieces for the complex. It’s the place you go when you want air plants in cool containers and wooden slingshots. The furniture is colorful, and each home item is beyond clever. You can also grab some Oliver Peoples sunglasses in there.
The Amish lumberjacks (aka waitstaff) were so nice in this meat paradise that I couldn’t even be crabby as they bumped me on trips to-and-from the kitchen. They serve meat with sides of meat (the 96’er, aka a giant steak, is a nice touch–order in advance) and it’s a riot to watch planks of lamb, beef, and pork served on paper being plunked down on tables. They just started breakfast hours (8 a.m.—11 a.m.) and have a handful of items at those hours that won’t give you the meat sweats.