Within the last few years, Culver City has become a nationally recognized mecca for good food, and its offerings—as well as its reputation—show no indication of slowing down. Just this week, I experienced two facets of the jewel that is living, and especially eating, in Culver City: the first was thanks to Mother Nature and a neighbor’s fruit tree, and the second came courtesy of recent culinary transplants, Farid Zadi and Susan Park.
As the weather recently cooled, my daughter—always in tune with the seasons— remembered that November is the month when our local Fuyu persimmons become ripe and my husband remembered that, somewhere in our immediate vicinity, was an abundant persimmon tree. With only instinct to guide them, one evening they set out on a quest and returned not long afterwards with their bounty: a shopping bag full of the richly colored globes. A neighbor’s tree, it turns out, had lost a branch and there—on the sidewalk—had lay dozens of the fallen fruit. *
Unlike the fussier and more tannic Hachiyas that can only be eaten when nearly overripe, Fuyu persimmons can be eaten like apples, as well as added to salads and cooked dishes. Though we anticipated having to give away some of our bounty before it spoiled, we ended up eating—or sharing with friends—every last delicious one.
When I spoke this week with married Chefs Farid Zadi and Susan Park—who recently opened Café Livre on Venice and Watseka—Susan confessed that she hadn’t thought much of Culver City. But as someone as deeply immersed in Los Angeles' world of fine food, when it came time for Susan and her husband to open up their new gourmet shop/brasserie/cooking school, Culver City beckoned. After all, more than a few of Chef Zadi’s former students from Ecole de Cuisine Los Angeles were already cooking in the neighborhood.
In addition to serving lunches and early dinners, Café Livre’s market offers a variety of artisanal baked goods, prepared foods, cheeses and charcuterie—much of it locally produced. Originally called Eat.Good.Clean.Food, the former name has become the establishment’s new motto. It’s a motto that can easily describe much that’s wonderful these days about living in Culver City, where there’s something yummy to eat for nearly everyone.
It's a motto that also reminds me how much there is to be thankful for during the coming holidays—from the simple to the sublime.