Formerly known as Eat. Good. Clean. Food, this relaxed and modest neighborhood cafe is serving up satisfying sandwiches and French brasserie fare with a North African flair.
The dishes are consistently well-prepared, comforting and fresh. It’s the kind of place you can count on for perfectly cooked sunny side up eggs on a toasted baguette for breakfast, as well as a chicken braised in white wine over Kennebec mashed potatoes for a hearty lunch.
The bread comes right out of their ovens on site and it is exceptional. Crusty, tender, chewy and ever so slightly sour, I’m still thinking I should’ve bought a loaf to go.
Cafe Livre also offers good, clean takeout items in addition to baguettes and croissants. There is a refrigerator stocked with homemade sauerkrauts like smoky chipotle, kimchi and soups in jars to go.
A delicious sauerkraut and cornichon accompanied my chicken salad sandwich and I rounded it out with twice-cooked fries and a blood orange French soda. Wonderful, good sized portions, but a tad pricey on the fries - $6.
The cafe is owned and run by Chef Zadi and his wife, Susan Park who also have established a branch of their cooking school, Ecoles de Cuisine - Los Angeles adjacent to the cafe. In between the lunch rush waves, Chef Zadi was in and out of the kitchen greeting guests and bringing samples. He seemed genuinely interested in making sure we were enjoying our lunch, much like an inn keeper.
Other patrons at nearby tables were brought bowls of steaming lentil soup and plates of “hummus three ways” - smoked paprika, harissa and cilantro pesto, and a cured duck and pate platter.
Sandwiches are big enough to share starting at about $10, and Cafe Livre offers daily brasserie lunch specials for $14, They also do office platters and run a catering service.
Cafe Livre: 9626 Venice Blvd., Culver City 90232. Hours: Mon-Sat: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tel: 310-849-9019.