This is a mostly residential neighborhood, but in the last few years there has really been a big nightlife boom. There are a lot of new restaurants coming in and this is still considered Culver City even though it is not in the main hub and is closer to the beach. But what a great opportunity to get in your car and check out this new neighborhood scene in Culver City.
It has a very urban city vibe to it, with its rich décor, and cool sleek interior. FIN’s designer Laura Irvin captured a minimalist chic atmosphere, making Fin a comfortable modern lounge. Laura wanted to create an upscale casual dining room that would not detract any focus from the food, and let every guest have a great overall experience. Some of the design elements feature: industrial bar lights, 3 black framed mirrors, banquets all the way across the dining room, beautiful wooden bar stools, and nicely painted muted colored walls.
Even though this place is off the beaten path the food alone is worth the trip. It is sort of Latin, sort of Japanese, but really fantastic. FIN, which was once a Mexican restaurant for the past 20 years, has completely transformed the neighborhood. My dinner selections were mostly Asian, but that’s just my taste.
Managing partners: Gerardo Reyes, Michael Flanagan and Kenneth Whang each add their own vast experiences and expertise to this combined ownership. FIN has been opened for a year and a half; its 3 partners have worked together in the past. “Myself, Gerardo and Ken are complete opposites,” says Flanagan. “Even though we are very different, we all have a common goal and work very well together.” Gerardo Reyes, has had his hand in several successful restaurant ventures, including Blue Velvet and Westwood’s Tengu Sushi. Managing partner and beverage director, Kenneth Wang, says, “I strive for a good balance between bartending and mixology. Creative, yet simple, I use farm fresh ingredients and try to really showcase the flavors from each component used to prepare each cocktail.”
Here’s what I tried:
Shiso Rockin with Rock Sake, Vodka, Lime Juice, Muddle Cucumber & Shiso Leaf. It’s got a very Asian feel, but is just deliciously refreshing all the same.
Hello Kitty with Ketel One Vodka, Pom Juice, Lemon, Agave, Muddled Berries. The cocktails here all are very creative, and from what I could taste really inventive.
Seaweed Trio Salad, such a lovely presentation with cucumbers, carrots, and a nice sweet dressing. Subtle great flavors, a tantalizing way to start off my meal.
Citrus Salmon Sashimi Truffle, you can see the black flecks of truffle and the salmon is very fresh. The marriage of these two flavors is just the best thing in the world. One of my favorite dishes at FIN.
Hot Dishes from the sea:
Miso Glazed Black Cod, this fish is marinated for 60 hours, and from every bite you can tell how much time was put into perfecting this dish.
Seared Kiwi Scallops, each scallops is done separately with a bed of kiwi and then crispy fried lotus root on top. You just pop the whole thing in your mouth and the world becomes a better place.
Hot Dishes from the land:
Red chili ichmi glazed lamb chops, they are little chops but they will dazzle you with their deep flavors.
Fin Roll, has so much going one, but is one fantastic sushi roll, I would order this every time.
Sweet and salty glazed green beans, they pack a punch with lots of loaded salty crunch, but a nice change from other side dishes.
Chardonnay, Summerland, Santa Barbara CA., 2013. This wine will enhance any of the seafood dishes you can try here; it has a nice clean finish, with some great citrus notes.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Simi, Alexander Valley, California 2012. I used to be a wine club member at Simi and really enjoy most of their wines. This wine was a great addition to both the filet and the lamb, what more could you ask for.
Brownie with black sesame ice cream, and peanut butter brownie. The sesame ice cream was a bit of a surprise, I just could not figure out what type of ice cream it was until I read the desert menu. It works really well with the chocolate and the peanut butter brownies.
My waiter Mando, which means “World” in Spanish, was as handsome as he was charming; he really made my whole experience very enjoyable.
My brother used to live down the street, so I know this neighborhood very well. There used to be old school type of establishments, with a few Japanese and diner type restaurants, so all of this new blood is really terrific. There is some competition in the neighborhood with new restaurants mainly Japanese, but really FIN is it’s own unique type of place.
If all of this was not enough around the corner in the back of the building near the parking lot there is a speak easy called Alley Bar. It is so fun inside, and you really feel like you are in some hidden gem right in the heart of New York City. One of the drinks that I tried was fruit infused vodka that was so subtle, but packed with so much ample flavor.
So if you put the two names together of FIN and Alley Bar you get Finale, and that is exactly what you need to do, march your self over to the Alley Bar and have a night cap after enjoying a scrumptious dinner at FIN.
Happy Hour Everyday from 5-7pm late night 10-11pm Monday – Saturday.
12223 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90066