The recent opening of the Metro Expo Line’s Santa Monica extension is totally exciting—we’ll be using it to get from Downtown to the beach all summer. But given that the trip takes about 50 minutes, you may be wondering: Where can I stop for a healthy, delicious meal or snack along the way?
How about disembarking at Platform, a new, architecturally stunning retail complex just steps from the Culver City Metro station that houses a critical mass of healthy eateries amid its high-end fashion and design boutiques. Here’s our guide to chowing down at Platform, Clean Plates-style.
The Cannibal: This American butcher-cum-brewery transplanted from New York City emphasizes pastured meats raised sustainably and humanely without antibiotics or hormones. Bring a group to the restaurant for dinner to share plates of house-made charcuterie and large cuts like the order-ahead “Ole ’96er,” a 60-day dry-aged, grass-fed, three-bone-in rib eye. There’s also a yummy assortment of primarily local, organic vegetable dishes like cool tomato and plum salad or cauliflower roasted with chili and basil. In the adjoining butcher shop, you can choose from an array of meats by the pound to cook at home, or grab a quick to-go lunch of freshly made salads with your choice of protein; we savored the kale salad with charred leeks, apples and lemon vinaigrette topped with warm, juicy slices of prime rib.
São Açaí: This small, pristine shop sells smoothies and bowls made with organic, wild-harvested Brazilian açaí or organic Central American pitaya, plus local, sustainably grown seasonal fruit. You can have your fruit bowl topped with healthy stuff like granola, coconut, goji berries or organic honey. Smoothie-wise, we love the original—a blend of açaí or pitaya with banana, strawberries, blueberries and apple juice—but you can also get yours with greens (spinach and kale) or a punch of protein, such as almond milk, peanut butter and non-GMO hemp protein.
Blue Bottle Coffee and Juice Served Here: On the beverage tip, you have a couple of great options. At cult coffee company Blue Bottle, grab a cup of joe or an espresso drink made with organic coffee beans roasted within 48 hours of serving. Fresh, cold-pressed juice is on tap at Juice Served Here, which sources local, certified non-GMO produce from organic and sustainable farms.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream : If you’re craving a sweet treat, do so with less guilt at this Brooklyn import. In addition to traditional dairy-based flavors, there’s a wide selection of vegan ice cream crafted from house-made cashew milk, organic coconut milk, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic cane sugar, pure cocoa butter and organic carob bean. On our visit, the vegan choices included lust-worthy flavors like Sicilian pistachio, caramelized banana nut and matcha green tea.
Sweetgreen: Still hungry? An outpost of hip-‘n’-healthy salad purveyor Sweetgreen—which sources primarily local, organic produce and antibiotic- and hormone-free meats—is projected to open at Platform in the fall. And when it does, Platform’s healthy dining vendors will really be “all aboard”!