From Sandwiches to Soups to Stocks to Sieves: Café Surfas

by Jessica on November 12, 2010

Kid Hit Menu Items: Café Surfas offers a terrific selection of pressed sandwiches: Spanish herbed tuna; roasted veggies; “Ultimate” grilled cheese with white cheddar, fontina, blue cheese on pecan raisin bread; or the kid’s grilled cheese ($5.50) with cheddar and fontina on country white. Market salads in the deli case, such as Israeli couscous or hummus, could also work. And there’s mac n’ cheese and a hot dog on the menu. All chicken is organic Jidori. Surfas’ breakfast items consisting of panini (Hello, Ultimate BLT with Nueske applewood bacon, burrata, roasted tomatoes, and garlic aioli!), granola, yogurt + fruit, and quiche are served all day, too.

Adult Perks: Surfas hits all the right serious food notes with dishes including chicken + roasted pear salad, house-made pickles, duck confit etc., served in a very casual, counter service setting. The biggest perk of all, obviously, is already being AT the Surfas store itself to either get some essential kitchen and food goods, or make the occasional random impulse buy.

Outdoor seating on the patio next to the store entrance makes it an easy low-key situation. Kids can wander outside and enjoy looking at the impressions of cooking utensils pressed into in the concrete floor. The wicker chairs are comfy, and using old school paper French fry cups as planters is a clever touch. There might be a fancier veneer at Surfas these days, and the atmosphere is cheerful and bright; but the old school Culver City light industrial area vibe still hangs around — in a good way.

Cons: There’s a bit of seating inside, but the patio is much more pleasant and practical, so Surfas is mostly a good weather venue. Which given the city we’re in, that’s hardly an issue.

Changing Station:

High Chairs: Yes

Parking and Access: Surfas has a big surface parking lot, but now it’s become our Expo Line terminus dining destination!

Other Tidbits: It’s only natural that amateurs’ favorite pro restaurant supply shop finally has a place to actually sit down and eat. This upgrade was added as part of the new Surfas, which moved — or rather, just slightly shifted its location — a few years ago. A café like this can get away with serving a Snake River farms hot dog and oxymoronically call it the “old school Kobe hot dog,” without sounding ridiculous. Baked goods, sweets, coffees, etc. are part of the deal, too. In keeping with Surfas’s previously existing standards, the food and ingredient quality are overall excellent, and the restaurant provides another reason to visit Surfas — especially if Culver City is an out-of-the-way destination. But those of us who have always loved this place never really needed extra excuses.


8777 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City
(310) 558-1458
Cuisine: Cafe, Market-Driven, Fast Casual
Price: $$
: Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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