Friday was a completely hectic day, and we knew we would only have the briefest of moments to grab something to eat. Since Keith and I would be meeting up with my family in Culver City, we decided to stop in to the café attached to Surfas, a gourmet food and restaurant supply shop around the corner from my relatives’ house. I have no idea whatsoever as to how Keith found this place, but I do know that I absolutely loved it.
The aesthetic at Café Surfas is reminiscent of an classic European market, with small octagonal tiles on the floor and cheery butter-colored walls. Chalkboards detail the coffee, sandwich and salad options, and glass cases house miscellaneous cheeses, charcuterie and cakes. Sit outside on the patio — the cement floors of which are imprinted with pressings of whisks, spatulas and cookie cutters — or inside at a tall table with freshly-cut flowers.
After taking about ten minutes to deliberate, I opted for the ultimate grilled cheese — housemade blue cheese mayonnaise, raclette, fiscalini and cold white cheddar on pecan raisin bread ($6.95). The sandwiches, paninis mostly, each come with a mixed green salad, and are served in recyclable cardboard boxes.
This sandwich was amazing. The bread simply made it, propelling it from being just a lovely sandwich into being an incredible one. The blue cheese mayo added a nice salty tang, and the other cheeses melted and oozed together in a very indulgent manner. Sweet and reassuring, it was exactly what I needed at that moment. This was comforting, good food.
I also got some fresh-squeezed orange juice, which was bright and sunny, but it actually didn’t compare in refreshment to the lemon-mint iced water the café serves gratis. When the summer rolls around, I know this is what I’ll be drinking nonstop.
If I’m in Culver City at any point in the future, I already know what I’m going to get — the haute dog, the Kurobuta ham panini, the Spanish herbed tuna, and another ultimate grilled cheese. It’s probably the most satisfying quick bite I’ve had in a long time.
8777 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232