Tuesday, May 13, 2008

M Cafe (Culver City)

Japanese department stores are famous for their basement-floor food counters. Think Dean & Deluca meets Nobu: Bright glass cases displaying mouth-watering wafuu morsels, beautifully coiffed and precisely centered on expensive white plates.

That's the concept in mind at M Cafe. Sorta... Stylish they are. Morsels they are not. Prim-and-proper Japanese ladies would gawk at some of these supersized mouth-stuffers. Inari sushi (aka footballs) are topped with an assortment of garnishes like shiitake, sliced gobo (burdock root) and carrots, and wild salmon, each about $2 a pop. I told a Japanese friend about them she gave me a bemused look like, "Yeah, I'm so not going there." Okay, yes, it's weird and oh-so bastardized, but looking at the people behind the counter -- Japanese chefs and managers with concerned looks on their faces -- I trusted that careful thought went into everything made at M Cafe.

They also carry bento box lunches (about $10) loaded generously with deli selections. Of course, being a macrobiotic food place it's made with the best ingredients and excludes anything that'll make you gassy: dairy, red meat, refined sugars, eggs.

In a rush, I'd inadvertently picked out the priciest thing on the menu: a $15 genmai rice bowl topped with teriyaki black cod and steamed vegetables. Maybe not the price I was hoping to spend on lunch, but it was really tasty. Though next time I'm going for the bento.

I didn't get to try anything else but there's a lot of promising offerings: sandwiches (muffaletta, California club), wraps, sushi, rice bowls ("katsu", bibimbop) and a whole case of desserts.

I'll be back to check out more.

M Cafe
9343 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA
(310) 838-4300
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margottobed said...

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H. C. said...

The deli salads and the wraps are pretty good -- next time I'm definitely going for a bowl or that bento box!

Pirikara said...

Yeah I'm gonna try the salads next time! =)

the survival gourmet said...

I usually don't make it to Culver City anymore but that looks like a reason to make a trip. Did you get a look at the Muffaletta?

Pirikara said...

Ah no...sorry I didn't. I'm going back soon though!