Culver City: Rush Street
I was visiting a friend in Los Angeles on Super Bowl weekend. She’s a recent convert to football (we’ll see how long that lasts!) and I’ve always been a fan so we wanted to find somewhere fun to watch the game. She polled friends and came up with a recommendation for Rush Street in Culver City. On Super Bowl Sunday we picked up our third friend, a visitor from Germany who had never seen a football game but was excited to find out what it was all about, and made our way to Culver City.
The “real” Rush Street is a street in Chicago that is jam-packed with bars and restaurants. It’s especially busy with the after work crowd on Friday nights and with all kinds of revelers the rest of the weekend. I haven’t been there for several years but, if I remember correctly, on weeknights it was just a bit sketchy. The partying starts later in the evening and a lot of the draw seems to be around contests, like teddy contests, and I’m not talking about lovable, stuffed animals. But perhaps that has changed now. Rush Street, the restaurant, purports to have a “Chi-town vibe”, presumably because one of the owners hails from Chicago. That may be the case but it really wasn’t discernible. However, it was a great spot to watch the Super Bowl and it seems it would be fun at other times, too.
The restaurant has an expansive first floor, nice sidewalk patio, and lots of nooks and crannies filled with couches and casual seating on the second floor – including a quieter outdoor space. We’d made a reservation to ensure seating during the game, but our table was farther from the TVs than we’d hoped so we opted to sit at the bar.
We started with Bloody Marys, always a good test of bartender skill, and were very pleased with the spicy but balanced drink. An important consideration when spending hours sitting at a bar is carefully choosing your poison to ensure that: you are not intoxicated by the end of your time; you have a little variety in your beverage; and there are no adverse effects the next day. I’ve learned it’s often bad news to mix types of alcohol – even when not consuming much – so I pick one thing and stick with it. Some may choose beer or wine but I prefer vodka. Vodka allows you to order a variety of drinks and they can be ordered with extra mixer without sacrificing taste. This also means the drinks last longer and minimizes how much alcohol you drink in a given period. All of my vodka-based drinks were well mixed.
The food we ordered was off a special Super Bowl menu but the offerings seemed similar or the same as appetizers available at other times. The three of us ordered several items and then split them so we could sample a little of everything. A couple of items really stood out: the lamb sliders were luscious; and the short-rib taquitos with their trio of accompaniments were outstanding, rich but tempered with the addition of the avocado sour cream or cilantro lime sauce. We enjoyed all the small plates we ordered. We also splurged and ordered two desserts – we couldn’t come to a consensus on just one.
The carrot cake which they call “big enough to share” was actually big enough to feed a small nation and delicious. The sticky toffee pudding was also a hit.
I found it a little hard to judge service, it seemed a little inattentive, but that could well have been due to the special circumstances. When you have a bar full of customers who have been hanging out for hours they generally slow down on their ordering after some time has passed. As a server you tread a fine line between checking in and badgering, and we may have experienced some hesitation due to that. I will say that whenever I caught our servers eye she was there in a flash and took care of us very quickly.
If I lived in Culver City I’d definitely come back to Rush Street.
9546 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA