One of the best things about the LA scene is the casual approach to dining. Back in my hometown of Sacramento, it was rare for us to dine out. And when we did, we dressed up. I’m talking heels, nylons, and dresses. We felt that if we were going to enjoy fantastic food, we had to dress-to-the-nines to be considered respectable to the restaurant.
Fast forward to today. I’ve made it past the 3-year mark in LA, and I have zero qualms about showing up at a fantastic restaurant like Fin in Culver City in my cute casual clothes.
And alone. Another thing my parents would probably feel strange about. I see solo diners all the time in LA, but I don’t recall ever seeing a table for one growing up.
Enough with my random tidbits.
I finally checked out Fin, in Culver City. Fin has a lovely interior, and the staff is super friendly, even if you’re alone and in casual clothes.
12223 W. Washington blvd, Culver City, CA 90066
I got there around 5:30 PM, which the perfect time cause you can order items from the happy hour and the main menu.
All the items on the happy hour menu, which includes food & drink, are under $10, which is pretty rare in LA. In fact, all the happy hour drinks are under $7. Westsiders, this should be your new happy hour haven!
As much as I wanted to stick with happy hour drinks, Justin, my fantastic server, told me about the Basile Night cocktail. Made with Plymouth Gin, elderflower liqueur, lime, and muddled basil it was right up my alley. It’s the perfect balance of a girlie cocktail and a less sweet one, but I’m all about the herbal finish from the basil. So refreshing!
I started with two bite-sized treats. The Tuna Jalapeño Crispy Rice, and it’s the best on their happy hour menu. First off, their spicy tuna mix is beautiful, as you can from the image. Unlike most places that give you a pre-mixed glob of spicy tuna, you can see the details of scallions and spices they incorporate at Fin. The fried rice square also had a chewy rice center and wasn’t hard throughout, like past experiences I’ve had with this dish. The jalapeño on top adds an extra kick of greatness.
The next smaller item I ordered, the Spicy Yellowtail Handroll was a special, but maybe if we all order it and tell them how much we love it, they’ll add it to the menu. The chef’s spicy blend didn’t overwhelm the yellowtail, and the portion size is perfect for an entree pre-game.
Justin told me that the most popular dishes are some of the starters, so I ordered the Citrus Truffle Salmon Sashimi from the cold starters selection and the Seared Beef Carpaccio from the hot starters selection. Best of both temperatures.
The carpaccio was a large portion, perfect to share with friends. The seared fillet mignon topped with crispy fried shiitake mushrooms and a truffle chive dressing. So delicious.
The salmon sashimi was by far my favorite item at Fin. The salmon sashimi is served with a ponzu sauce, drizzled with a white truffle oil, topped with black truffle shavings and garnished with micro greens. The combination of the flavors of citrus and truffle was to die for, and the fatty salmon soaks it in perfectly. Tip: If you have to take a doggy bag home, the sashimi is even better soaked in the juices overnight. Trust me.
One of the perks of being a Girl on Food is sometimes, if I ask very politely, the Chef will allow me to sample a taste of an item. It doesn’t always work out, but Justin sweet talked him into letting me try a taste of the Pumpkin Tempura. The slice pumpkin is lightly battered and fried to crisp, then topped with a magical curry salt. Seriously, if I had more room, I would order two of these! The pumpkin is so soft and sweet, but that curry salt makes this side extra special.
After all these savory dishes I had a serious sweet tooth… and it was a cheat day… why not a cocktail with dessert? I tried the Blushing Geisha, which is plum wine, Rock Sake, Yuzu juice and a lychee fruit (I’m a sucker for anything with lychee on a stick). I also ordered the Coconut Pineapple Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. What a perfect ending. The frosting on the cake was so creamy and beautiful- what a perfect way to end this!
If you’re on the Westside, be sure to check Fin out, especially for that Happy Hour!