'Eat and Drink Locally' At the Wood

West Culver City is an area of Los Angeles with many student residents. With relatively inexpensive rent and a central location for commuters, one could even say that is the ideal place for a student in Los Angeles to live. However there are very few restaurants
in the area for local residents to eat, sit
and hang out.

With the economy in its current state, very few investors have been bold enough to take a chance and open a business in the growing community. One investor, however, who has taken the risk and recently opened a new
business is Dmetrois Mavromichalis, owner and operator of the Venice Grind, who has recently just opened his second café in the area on the corner of Inglewood and Washington Boulevard called The Wood.

The Wood opened on Friday, Nov. 14, and with a very big community reaction, running out of everything on their food menu in their inaugural weekend. "The community's reaction
is going to influence us a lot," said
Mavromichalis. "I grew up in this
neighborhood, and my first investment
in the community was the Venice Grind.
Later, I started the Mar Vista Farmer's
Market. Now I have The Wood."

The Wood's catch phrase, "Eat and Drink Locally," fits very well with what it is. And while not all of the food is completely organic, it is almost completely all-natural; the majority of the foods used being from Mavromichalis's Mar Vista farmer's

The fact that most ingredients for the food are bought at local farmer's markets is also a bit of a curse since the restaurant very frequently runs out of their materials to make their dishes on busy weekends.

"The kitchen is open until 2 p.m.," said Chelsea Kipp, a barista at The Wood. "But we're open until 10 p.m. for coffee, sandwiches and other pastries."
And according to Mavromichalis, the future of The Wood could possibly include a full dinner menu, and perhaps a beer and wine list at some point.

The current menu has an extensive breakfast selection with a very unique approach, containing items such as a traditional approach at French toast with chopped croissants, raisins and cranberries grilled in egg batter labeled as "Grandma's French Toast," and breakfast tacos, served with chorizo or bacon for the meat.
"The breakfast tacos are sort of a tribute to El Castillo, the seedy Mexican restaurant that was here before," said Mavromichalis. Additionally, if you're just looking for a standard American breakfast, the menu has the Daily Double, two large eggs, two turkey
sausage links, two slices of turkey
bacon and two pancakes for the modest
price of $5.75.

Lunch at The Wood also has a fairly
fresh approach with a list of interesting
salads and sandwiches. All salads are
dressed with house-made dressings, and all meats are always grilled, not fried.
The chicken and tuna salad, for the sandwiches, also are made in healthier
methods as they are made with yogurt
instead of mayonnaise. For a full menu,
you can check The Wood's website at

The success of The Wood is going to be very dependent on the amount of local business it gets as well, according to Mavromichalis. Kipp, who was a barista for the Venice Grind before The Wood opened, spoke also about how she optimistically anticipated development
of new regulars.
"When I was at the Grind, I would
see the regulars pull up in their cars
and I would have their coffee ready for them by the time they walked in the door. I'm still waiting for that to happen here, getting to know all the neighbors and the people that are going to come in every day."

So if you live in the Culver City area or pass through it regularly, stop in at The Wood. With a great menu and fresh, locally grown ingredients, you will not be disappointed.