Akasha-Culver City

Many internet lists exist for the sole purpose of selecting a restaurant environment in which romantic encounters will flourish. What’s really lacking out there is a definitive guide of great places to break up, end one’s engagement, or let ‘em down easy.

Just like a good upchuck, there’s seldom a time when the end of a relationship isn’t forewarned by at least a rather disconcerting gut feeling. The worst thing to do is break up at a place you enjoy frequenting, as every subsequent visit will be plagued by the Spirit of Ex’s Past. Difficulty can occur, like when struck by an unexpected bout of the flu, you find yourself spewing up your love’s finale during a pivoting scene at a late night matinee.

This is where Akasha comes in. Even on the shortest notice, reservations are a click away via website-enabled phone or if you show up at a balmy 9pm, there’s almost guaranteed an empty table for you and your *ahem* loved one.

And while intimate seating in dark lit corners with naught but the flicker of an air-caressed candle flame may be conducive to that fuzzy feeling of love(otherwise known as major suckage), there’s nothing like a rowdy dining hall to dump the coldest bucket of water on any residual embers of passion.

The main seating area is large with just enough elbow room to move about while still being acutely aware of your neighbors. The slender tables are set up with some sort of hard seated adult bouncy chairs although seating around the perimeter of the restaurant is split between these and plush benches. Do yourself a favor and rush for the latter-you shouldn’t have to inflict anymore unnecessary discomfort on yourself.

With the noise level at a moderate roar, severe lean-in is necessary to clearly hear the conversation and any ensuing hate words post-breakup will be largely muffled into the background. Really, it’s probably best to just sit back and nod your head up and down as if you’re intent on being the mature and reasonable one in the relationship.

There’s a physical threshold for pain which crossing beyond causes one to promptly pass out. In the cases of severe bodily harm or dismemberment, this works like a charm. Why this survival response doesn’t occur equally for the heart’s lancination, I’ll never know. Thankfully, alcohol can be substituted for wrist slitting, in which case Akasha has your back. With a healthy selection of everything from hibiscus margaritas to Stella or an insanely large selection of overpriced wines, you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Akasha prides itself on offering sustainable and organic food from local sources whenever possible. So even if your insides feel like chop liver you can take comfort in knowing that the salmon you’re about to ingest “is sourced from Clean Fish and other Marine Stewardship Council-certified fisheries”. That doesn’t guarantee that it will taste any better, but hey, you’re on your own now. It’s time to take care of you and lose those omega-3 love handles.

Akasha’s tiny menu is broken up into a handful of categories, including small plates, pizza, bowls, big plates, and sides. Since the detectable difference between small and big plates is somewhat vague, this is one restaurant where you can definitely get appetizers and still have room for your “big” dinner.

The grilled artichoke was a healthy start-a skimpy olive green bulb bearing transparent flesh that could hardly be prodded into the viscous paprika aioli. I ordered a daily special fig salad for dinner, although after seeing the massive plate on a neighboring table, I suddenly realized that the super-informative waiter had failed to mention it was merely an appetizer. A cannelinni bean hummus plate was ordered to hold the hunger at bay.

Glistening marinated olives sunk into a few tablespoons of pale bean puree accompanied by half a dozen crispified slices of floury pizza crust. The crust was adorned with shreds of caramelized onions and cilantro which imparted some flavor into the hummus dipping process.

For the main course, my glorious Sodom and Gomorrah fig salad arrived. The main attraction was a miniature mound of baby arugula with a thin slab of goat cheese alongside. One fig lay quartered and artfully decorated with a splash of balsamic vinegar. A smattering of pine nuts convened in the upper left corner. The arugula tasted as if Lot’s wife had been transformed into a heaping pillar of course sea salt just above it, smothering the usually spicy flavors.

My dining companion didn’t seem to be fairing much better with a fennel crusted Niman Ranch pork loin. The sleek rectangular platter skillfully displayed slabs of moist pink-speckled flesh resting on a bed of flavor-challenged organic bacon and white cheddar grits. A few thick slices of deep-fried green tomatoes paired perfectly with the Southern theme.

Some might not see a moderately priced restaurant as the ideal locale for a failed love investment. As I was finishing up my 200% profit glass of wine, this thought also crossed my mind. However, this one superficial detail, if anything, will cement the feeling of negativity towards the establishment of said disintegration, ensuring a clean break. Join me next time for “Discreet places to take your rebound”.

Akasha-Culver City, CA

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5 thoughts on “Akasha-Culver City

  1. like the sentimental in your writing,

    you ever see Takeshi Kaneshiro’s movie, ‘ChungKing Express’?

    If you haven’t, I think you’d love it.

    look forward to “Discreet places to take your rebound” ;^P

  2. Haha! I’ve never thought breaking up in public was a smart move. What about all the tears and yelling and whatnot? And then of course, what I would do. ;)

    I think a restaurant with booths would be good. The other diners can’t see. And definitely second that it shouldn’t be a place you want to dine often. Of course, I’ve discovered many a good restaurant through an ex. And eventually could revisit those restaurants without thinking of the ex at all.

  3. Wil: Thanks for the suggestion. It’s in my “movies to watch” list.

    WC: Agreed. A restaurant with booths would probably be better, true. That’s great that you can revisit restaurants after awhile. For some it takes longer than others. Luckily for me, it seems I’ve moved around enough to avoid that!

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