COOKING CLASSIC CULVER CITY SANDWICHES
Formerly known as Skratch, Chef Jeffrey Price has updated and retooled his menu and has renamed his tasty sandwich shop Choppe Choppe.
The new, fresh chef-driven restaurant is loaded with all of the ingredients that made Skratch a neighborhood cult favorite - fresh, locally sourced, and artfully crafted sandwiches, salads, wraps and fresh baked desserts - all prepared to order fast. The new Choppe Choppe menu features complex flavors and seasonally appropriate ingredients normally only found in the city’s fine dining restaurants and boutique food markets.
All items are hearty, savory and affordable, and prepared fast. A favorite lunch spot for Sony Studio employees, expect a line but believe me, it’ll be worth the wait.
“Choppe Choppe is still going to be my food, just like Skratch,” Chef Owner Jeffrey Price points out, “but this is a much more modern and grown up version of the concept that I started four years ago. Choppe Choppe will have more menu items to choose from and longer hours to accommodate the residents and those working late who want good food without a big hassle.”
Modest and unassuming, the flare is in the taste as customers choose their orders from an oversized chalkboard and eat at long tables meant for sharing if you dine inside, otherwise there is plenty of comfy outside seating. Each entrée item can be prepared as a sandwich, wrap or salad but since the bread comes baked fresh daily for La Brea Bakery, Price hints that the sandwiches are the way to go.
“The sandwiches are supposed to represent an entire meal that you would have and although they all have some specific inspiration,” Price points out, “it’s all seen through the way I would do things. In the Seoul Food or the Banh Mi or the Barbacoa, I’m not trying to just be authentic and do a Korean BBQ. I want to re-imagine it. It’s supposed to be an inspiration, not a copy of something. I try to give everybody a little experience to try something new while not being too cool for school.”
During a recent lunchtime visit we couldn’t help but go to town on several of the delicious menu items. For starters there’s the creamy and savory Tomato Basil Soup, and the hearty Turkey Chili is a must, while you’ll find the Mushroom Soup to have a wonderful spice to it.
As for the sandwiches, it is overwhelming when ordering, as everything looks amazing. The Oxbow braised rib eye sandwich with its honey spread is sweet and sensational.
The Seoul Food Korean BBQ sandwich features marinated rib eye, fresh sliced Asian pear, toasted Sesame seed Aioli, cut green leaf with crushed red pepper flake and sesame oil vinaigrette. Its hint of spice really creates a wonderful taste.
The Edamame Wrap, made me, not the world’s biggest edamame fan a new convert. Served with grated edamame and a pesto-like taste it’s among Price’s favorite (and now mine too). “The Edamame is my Saturday thing. I’m all about that every Saturday,” the proud chef confesses.
The Barbacoa Sandwich is the one that immediately caught my eye on the chalkboard menu. The tender, hand-pulled pork smoked in a Chipotle BBQ marinade, served with farmhouse cheddar, sweet potato and jicama slaw with a squeezed lime & honey dressing has a mouthwatering BBQ taste. Consider this one a must if you’re a fan of the Q.
The California Curry Sandwich, prepared with farm-raised chicken breast tossed with flame raisins, green apple, and dried cranberries in a yogurt mango curry with English cucumber and cut green leaf, has a subtle and sublime sweet and nutty taste.
The Banh Mi Sandwich, made with seasoned braised pork, Vietnamese picked daikon and carrots, fresh English cucumber, jalapeño and cilantro Aioli, Napa slaw, and sesame ginger dressing, has a spicy and savory kick to it. Another favorite.
Speaking of favorites, Chef Jeffrey Price admits the Greek Sandwich (which I didn’t try) is his favorite menu item. “That secret vinaigrette is one of my favorite dressings I’ve ever made,” Prices acknowledges, “and there’s something about that particular tuna, the way I make it without mayo, it’s really rich. That’s what I find myself eating throughout the week.”
I know I’ll be making a visit very soon for that Greek Sandwich.
Next for Choppe Choppe is its soon to be unveiled Dine to Order / Finish At Home line of partially pre-cooked meals that you can to finish cooking yourself. “All the stuff that I have created to flavor my sandwiches will be reflected in the Finish At Home line,” Price notes.
These will be crispy and juicy, not simply reheated, items.
Entrees range from $5 to $10, with soups and sides at $2-$3, and delectable desserts (fresh baked cupcakes, cookies and cakes) from $1-$2.
“People know all about fresh, healthy food,” notes Chef Price, “we’re just giving it to them in a fast and affordable format. I hope people know we have the freshest food you can possibly get. It’s a little bit of an experience as there is something for the flavor palette but it is quick and convenient and very fairly priced.”
Choppe Choppe is located at 3867 Hughes Avenue in Culver City. Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM – 8:30PM; Sat: 12PM – 8PM; Sun: Closed. Call 310-558-3400. All major credit cards are accepted, and orders can be placed in advance by visiting www.choppe-choppe.com/orders. Free 1 hour validated parking in the back.