Like I've said all along, I'm a Valley girl and I'm okay with that. I believe there are great restaurants, bars, markets and more all to be found right here in the neighborhood.
BUT...sometimes you just need to get to the other side of the hill. Why? Chinatown, the beach, a concert at the Bowl etc. There are somethings that are just so quintessentially not of the Valley that you need to make the trek.
First let me sing the praises of the Metro Orange Line. It can link you up to the Red Line in North Hollywood and from there LA is your oyster. It's a great alternative to driving. It took many years for the city to even remotely link up the Valley with the rest of their brethren, I say let's take advantage of public transportation and maybe we'll get more!
Another great reason to get my arse out of the SFV is my gal Jessica. We've been friends for years and when her birthday rolled around we all got together for a little nosh, a little wine, and some good company.
So, without further ado here is the first the places I found worthy of getting my butt over the hill for.
Update: Since I went to Vinum, the owners of the place split. The owner of Vinum sold his share to Ugo, the Italian restaurant next door. They still have the Enomatic wine system, and continue to serve appetizers (which were always made by Ugo.) I would gather this place is still worth a try even with the changes.
If you love to sip a little wine and have some seriously delicious "nosh" then I'm telling you, Vinum Populi (now known as Ugo) is worth the trip to Culver City. But this isn't your average wine bar, no sir. The place has dozens of wines to taste and you taste them in a self service style using their enomatic wine system.
First you get an "atm" card of sorts and can put money on it, I started with $20. Then you peruse the wines, swipe your card and after the quick push of a button, serve yourself a 1 oz. pour. The 1 oz taste will run you anywhere from a little under a dollar, up to $30 or more. The price of course depends on the cost of a bottle.
The atmosphere is that of a cocktail party. And what every good cocktail needs is some good snacks to go with it. Vinum doesn't let you down.
We tried a cheese plate, pizza with hardboiled egg, olive medley and their pollo con pesto. All were, hands down, delicious.
This is a terrific place for a fun date or girls night out.
Check out Vinum Populi's website by clicking here...
They haven't changed the website since the split...yet.