At the top of the chic Culver City mall Platform, Margot has been quietly holding court over the last year as one of the most beautiful restaurants in the neighborhood. Perched on the third floor of a shopping center that trades on stunning design (Shawmut was involved) and high-end, exclusive names — like the forthcoming debut American outpost of London’s St. John, or the first LA location of beloved Bushwick pizza joint, Roberta’s — Margot opened just before Christmas in December 2018.
Helmed by IB Hospitality’s Rohan Talwar, who is best known for the West Hollywood’s airy Norah, Margot features 360 views of the city in both the indoor and outdoor spaces. If you’re a fan of Norah’s airy, woodsy feel and expansive marble bar, those elements show up at its Culver City sister too; it was designed by Thomas Schoos (who also did Norah) and Lisa Gill, giving it that eclectic, luxurious edge that fine dining restaurants strive toward to set themselves apart.
Specs aside, one of the primary draws of Margot is its location. While West Hollywood is chock full of elegant, spacious spots with formidable menus to match, and there’s plenty of places to grab food in Culver, few options in the area are as elevated — figuratively and literally — as Margot. Whether you’re trying to lure some reticent east side locals to embrace the appeal of westernmost region of the city, or impress out of town guests with seriously stunning views, the aesthetics of this place alone are ample reason to show up.
Then, there’s the food, which draws on Spanish, Italian and Mediterranean influences courtesy of chef Michael Williams (also of Norah) with high points in the crudo and pasta offerings, a menu of modern and classic cocktails and a formidable occasionally extravagant wine list. Dinner and brunch prix-fixes served family style are excellent and hearty for large groups, and a recent late night menu (Thursday-Saturday only) means the roomy patio is great for nightcaps and midnight snacks — appetizers, salads, and even a burger are all served 11 PM to 1 AM if you’re out and about, in need of sustenance.
Culver has long been tapped as the west side neighborhood ripe for new artistic resurgence, with longstanding heavyweights like Apple/Beats By Dre and a massive Sony studio anchoring the area, along with plenty of other studios and creative agencies setting up shop in recent years. A new $600 million expansion from Amazon will surely develop the area further, and work on a 14-acre campus for the tech giant’s studio broke ground in 2018 and will open its doors early 2021. In the meantime, Platform, and all of its tenants are poised to become heavily frequented by an influx of newcomers who have the cash and, hopefully, the appetite to keep the shops and eateries in this admittedly pricey retail center afloat.
At a recent one-year anniversary party to celebrate Margot’s first birthday, yacht-pop purveyor Mayer Hawthorne spun records on the patio, and while plenty of the patrons were probably unaware of the stature of the DJ who took over the Thursday night tunes, another handful looked on approvingly, eager to see a cultural event of sorts pop up in Culver. For Culver City, an area that’s ostensibly big on talent, the artistic cachet of LA is still stubbornly stuck on the east side, grooving along in pockets like Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park.
If Margot can be the one to help shift the notion that the west side is tragically unhip, then that victory will do more for them than views, food, and excellent drinks combined. For now, Potatoes Bravas ($13) — aka perfectly crispy fingerlings and smoked paprika aioli — pair exceedingly well with a Sting & Tonic (Gin Mare, sage, cucumber, and tonic, $14) at midnight, even if you’ve got a long car ride back to Highland Park after the bar closes.