Saturday, August 05, 2006

Cafe Surfas

Surfas Restaurant Supply in Culver City recently went through a major make-over, which included a move to the brightly lit retail-friendly space next door to their original, dark warehouse. Surfas has gone from a nice little industry secret to a major retailer, more geared toward the general public then ever before. They have also put their own labels on many items, including beans, flours, and spices. Part of this make over includes a little cafe/deli adjacent to the store. They have a menu of panini, salads, pastries, and a deli case of cheeses and cured meats.

Their cannele are one of the better ones you can find in town, and a little mascarpone tart was pleasantly creamy with a hint of lemon.

Their panini and the other hand were a huge disappointment. First of all, do not expect those cool panini crimps, they apparently use the flat side of the press. I ordered the roasted tomato panini with grilled fig and Taleggio. It was tiny, filled with one tomato slice, and half a fig. I was finished with it by the time my friends were halfway through theirs. I was still so hungry I contemplated heading down the street to Bluebird Cafe for a good panini.

Heather's grilled cheese looked the most promising, but made with raisin bread you couldn't taste the variety of cheeses inside.

Brooke ordered the Turkey Club - the best of the batch. As I have said before, bacon makes anything better. I ordered mine well done, as usual, and they gave it to me barely medium. I returned it, only to receive it barely past medium. My friends' sandwiches on the other hand, we beautifully dark without specifying one way or the other. Hhmph. They were accompanied by a little spinach salad with a very sweet dressing, and a little container of pickles.

One nice touch in the cafe is the water cooler, filled with mint and lemon. A much better option than paying seventy five cents for an iced tea refill (emphasis on the ICED), and waiting in the rapidly growning line. It was lunchtime and the place was packed. I wanted to hand out Bluebird Cafe menus.

Cafe Surfas
8777 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City


Anonymous said...

This place is terrible. Their sandwiches are overly contrived and never cooked properly. They used to have this guy who knew his meats and cheeses and I think he did the wine and beer as well. He was knowledgable, but the current staff knows very little about their product. I won't be back.

Anonymous said...

VERY over priced. They should be ashamed that there name is even associated with these sandwiches which are soo small and inadequate.I suppose that people buy their products for the name and cache. They deserve what they get,not much.

Anonymous said...

You need to check this place again...I don't think Cafe Surfas is offering the same quality as when you made your initial review. The staff is rude (ESPECIALLY THE 'Executive Chef') and the food is slow, and overpriced. Not a good destination.

CulverCityGirl said...

I actually like this place for a light lunch -- the smaller portions are perfect size for me, the salads are fresh, and the entrees always interesting; on occasion they do try something really out-there and it doesn't work, but i like their efforts. The presentation is great and handy in the little to-go box, and i am usually amused by the food-related quip in the lid.

Gotta agree that the counter service is always surly, though. What is up with that?! Thankfully it is order/pickup style, so you only have to talk to her once. :)

Love your reviews, Bree. Thanks for all the great info.

Anonymous said...

I'm not usually a stickler for customer service...just get my food and run, right? But I was actually ACTIVELY mistreated at this place. I placed my order and stood back to wait for my number...after about 15 minutes (how long does it take to cook a grilled cheese sandwich that's already been made??) I asked the woman behind the counter if it was ready and got a pretty stern lecture on how long it takes and how many people there were in front of me...WAY overboard for the simple question. All in all, I was there for about 35 minutes, 25 of which was ordering and waiting. When I finally did get my sandwich I had to remind them that I had also ordered an iced tea and a pastry. I'd give the food a 7 out of 10, but, man, the service...I just don't think I'll go back.

Anonymous said...

They've had 2 years to get it right and they suck more than before. All of the expired food items from the store get recycled back into the cafe...or repacked without an expiration date and put back out for sale in the store. Buyer beware!

Anonymous said...

I got very sick eating here. I had the ham sandwich. Just a warning.

Anonymous said...

WOW...incredibly RUDE staff. Where's the guy that used to sell cheese?? He was great.

This place hasn't changed their menu in eons. I'd love to see them come up with something new and fresh instead of the same old junk. For creativity they get a zero and for food they get a 3 out of 10. Boo. Not going back.

Anonymous said...

The owner lady can be pretty surly too. Has issues with a lot of people.