Unearth distinctive items for your home in
L.A.'s new cultural destination

Laura Randall

Pounding the pavement in Culver City has gotten much more fun.The Sony Studios neighborhood was already breaking out as a dininghot spot when H.D. Buttercup opened last year inside the landmarkArt Deco Helms Bakery building. Part furniture bazaar, parthigh-end design store, H.D. Buttercup's 140,000 square feet housethe kinds of eclectic treasures you used to need an interiordesigner to track down. After an afternoon of browsing, check outthe thriving gallery scene along La Cienega and WashingtonBoulevards, or grab a bite at one of the new restaurants or winebars a short walk away.

GETTING THERE

Culver City is just east of I-405 and south of I-10, bordered byVenice, La Cienega, and Jefferson Boulevards. Parking for H.D.Buttercup and many surrounding restaurants is free, and there'salso plenty of street parking ― a welcome benefit in busyL.A.

SHOP

H.D. Buttercup. Don't miss the custom media cabinets andcoffee tables at Against the Grain. Jiti has luxurious silk bedlinens, many from India. Cast-iron candleholders and vases at H.D.Designs complement faux olive trees and magnolia-leaf wreaths.Twenty Gauge has vintage steel desks and file cabinets restored totheir original glory. 3225 Helms Ave.; www.hdbuttercup.com or310/558-8900.

GO

The Jazz Bakery. One of L.A.'s best spots for live jazz.3233 Helms Ave.; www.jazzbakery.com or310/271-9039.

Museum of Design Art and Architecture Gallery. A2,000-square-foot design gallery housed in a block-long modernistcomplex. Tue-Sat; free; 8609 Washington Blvd.; www.modaagallery.com or310/558-0902.

EAT

Wilson. A wine bar with innovative small plates liketerrific potato-and-fig tortelli. $$$;8631 Washington Blvd.; 310/287-2093.

BottleRock. A sophisticated new tasting room with more than500 wines, plus tasty charcuterie and gourmet cheeses. $$;3847 Main St.; 310/836-9463.

Beacon. If you have time for only one meal, make it here. Ina refurbished former laundry, veteran chef Kazuto Matsusaka showsoff hits like miso-marinated black cod. $$;3280 Helms Ave.; 310/838-7500.

STAY OVERNIGHT

One block from Sony Studios, the Culver Hotel (46 rooms from $109; 9400 Culver Blvd.; www.culverhotel.com or888/328-5837) was the favorite spot for Old Hollywood stars likeGreta Garbo, Clark Gable, and the cast of The Wizard of Oz. Theelegant mahogany-paneled lobby doubles as a cocktail bar namedDuke's Hideaway (after onetime owner John Wayne), and rooms reflectthe 1924 building's heritage, with French antiques and plenty ofmovie memorabilia.

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