AKASHA

How do you guys feel about lists?

I love lists.

But before you write me off as an up-and-coming serial killer with a weird list fetish, hear me out.

Tangible lists… Writing one out, crossing stuff off it, completing it. Lists give me a sense of (I’ll admit, mostly false) accomplishment. To-do lists, bucket lists, Christmas lists, “The List” – if you know what I mean. All types of lists.

Except maybe a hit list. Yeah, steer clear of those. And for sure don’t get caught with one.

PS: Ryan, if you’re reading this, I’m only joking about “The List.” Of course I don’t have one of those…

Here’s one of my favorite types of lists: a list of restaurant specials.

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Akasha specials

Another list I love: a wine list.

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Akasha bar

But my favorite type of list? A Food List. I know this is definitely a Fat Kid Friday-type of confession, but my LA Food List (conveniently written on an iPhone note) is what finally got me to start this blog. Well, that and an encouraging friend or two, plus a bottle of Pinot (or two). But my sacred iPhone list played a large role.

Living in LA means as soon as you mark a place off your list, you have to add one, maybe two others. New bars and restaurants pop up overnight in this city, so shrinking my list is nearly impossible. So I thought, I should write about this… this challenging, no-end-in-sight list I’ve started.

Which leads me to AKASHA, a spot that’s been on my list since it’s birth in 2011. Located in downtown Culver City, this place is a duel threat: hip coffee shop by morning/day, restaurant by night. AKASHA is big on local, organic, and sustainable ingredients, down to the wine and vodka (not kidding).

I knew I’d like this place as soon as I had to make that “Sorry, we’re going to be 15 minutes late” call to the hostess and instead of being rude, she said “No problem! Take your time. And drive safe!”

I nearly fell on the floorboard.

Parking at AKASHA is a bit tricky, since there’s no valet (insert Cher Horowitz joke here), and street parking can fill up early. There’s a parking garage on the street behind the restaurant, though, if you need a last resort.

Going off of the menu’s sustainable theme, the interior of AKASHA is made up of restored steel, wood, con­crete and brick arches while the decor is kind of 1970s-modern with awesome string lights throughout.

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Keeping with our tradition of never sitting where we’re supposed to, we opted out of our (overly-cozy) two-top and headed to the bar. The bartender – a lady bartender – ended up being one of my favorite drink slingers yet. She was funny, knowledgeable, and fast. She must’ve made my drink in 20 seconds flat.

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the akasha + grenache/syrah

I went with the akasha (crop organic cucumber vodka, pineapple & cucumber juice, martini style) while Ryan went for a glass of red. So classy, that guy. He sipped his vino while I downed mine in what felt like four large sips. Actually, it may have been five.

The menu is a mix of large and small plates, comfort food and Asian-fusion.

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albacore poke w/ togarashi plantain chips

Mmmm, the albacore poke: avocado, toasted nori, sesame seed, togarashi plantain chips, and tamari-shallot dressing. I could’ve had three more orders of the ahi and at least 50 more of those plantain chips. Oh yeah.

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grilled wild shrimp w/ papaya salad

The grilled wild shrimp: grilled papaya salad, chili peanuts, and lime. Basically a spring roll without the sticky rice paper. And bomb shrimp.

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saffron seafood risotto

Ryan ordered the saffron seafood risotto (with scallops, shrimp, calamari, mussels, clams and sea bass) because he loves to taunt me. My peeps: no matter the restaurant, risotto is loaded with butter. Have one delicious/creamy bite then move right along.

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punjabi mung beans & rice w/ caramelized onion flatbread

I went with the punjabi mung beans & rice, which came with vegetables, caramelized onion flatbread, greens, tomato chutney, and raita. I chose this 99% because the lady next to me had just ordered it and 1% because I had to know what mung beans were. My peeps: don’t touch the raita – it’s just fancier sour cream.

Other popular dishes were the tandoori spiced chicken wings, skillet macaroni & cheese, and the star anise braised short ribs.

For my peeps, there’s plenty of dairy-free options. If you’re into seafood, the bartender said the pan-seared sea bass is butter-free and the best in Culver City (take that for what it’s worth). Or the spiked turkey burger without cheese. With a side of sweet potato fries. This is mandatory.

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house made dairy-free peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream

When do you ever see dairy-free ice cream on a dessert menu? It’s a unicorn among the cheesecakes and loaded ice cream cookies of the dessert world. Also, never, ever turn down a dairy-free dessert that has the words “peanut butter” in the title.

Actually, never turn down peanut butter.

Website {at) http://akasharestaurant.com/

Find AKASHA {at} 9543 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Reservations {at} (310) 845-1700

Open {at)
Dining Room:
Mon-Thurs: 11:30am-2:30pm; 5:30-9:30pm
Fri: 11:30am-2:30pm; 5:30-10:30 pm
Sat: 5:30-10:30 pm
Sun: 10:30am-2:30pm; 5-9pm
Happy Hour (at the bar):
Mon-Fri: 2:30-7pm
Sat: 4-7pm
Sun: 2:30-7pm
The Cafe:
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: 10:30am-5pm
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