Monday, October 15, 2007

Taste test: The Point, and why is the Eastside missing out?

Plenty of outdoor tables in a modern setting

It doesn't seem quite fair that Culver City gets not just Surfas Cafe and Tender Greens but now The Point as well. Where are all the places for Eastsiders to get a nice fresh salad, or some soup or pudding to go? The Point opened recently on National in one of those highly groovy ultramodern office parks they have over in Culver City. "Fresh food for people on the go" is their slogan, as opposed to most of the cafes of Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park that share the same slogan -- "Slow service for Silver Lake slackers." Owned by the folks from Beacon, The Point has a simple menu of salads, paninis, wraps and soup, as well as take-home prepared meals of mac n' cheese, meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes ($9.50), chicken enchiladas and spinach and cheese stuffed chicken breast. You can also make your own salad or choose a bento box of four mini-salads. There's a few tables inside and several more outside, but it can also function as a place to pick up a quick dinner on the way home. Chicken caesar: yummy dressing, actual anchovies!
The difference between the Point and places like O to Go is that all the ingredients are fresh and carefully chosen, combined so they actually taste good. My caesar salad ($9.50) had a delicious dressing with just the right amount of garlic -- too thick to actually pour, but a hit nonetheless. Some people might be scared of anchovies, but the fat little fellows perched on top of the incredibly crisp romaine were a brave and tasty touch. Croutons were soggy, but these are the perils of prepackaged food. Squash soup ($3.50) was comforting on a foggy day, while butterscotch pudding was no budino, but a fun finish to the lunch. There's also breakfast in the morning, and giant peanut butter cookie sandwiches. It all sounds simple enough, so why do places like this only exist west of La Cienega?
The Point
8522 National Blvd.
Culver City


Anonymous said...

Mmmmm, mac 'n' cheese at Surfas... ;)

Anonymous said...

If La Brea is east enough for you, I recommend the salads and sandwiches at La Brea Bakery. The peppery arugula salad w/ reggiano and lemon dressing is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Pat--as a fellow Eastsider, I totally agree with you...Alcove just isn't enough.

Anonymous said...

I also agree as a mid-cityer. Went to Fraiche last night -- hadn't been to Culver City in about six months -- and was blown away by the restaurant and the surrounding scene. I want to move there. Fraiche is almost as good as Mozza, with much better ambience. Why isn't anything like that, or The Point, coming around the Miracle Mile, especially with our museums, galleries, and thousands of workers?

carlos said...

not impressed. everything is served in a giant piece of plastic and paper bag (one for fork and another for a piece of bread). I felt the salads are overly simple unless you are willing to spend over $15 for a salad. Tender Greens all the way if you're not in a rush.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, carlos, all their packaging is biodegradable. And when $15 can get you a salad with 18 toppings, calling them "overly simple" is simply a self-indictment.