If it's Tuesday, it must be--taco night at Cafe Vida in Culver City.
On that night, you get a choice of five tacos, including the short rib chile colorado taco at the top. The braised meat comes with a smoky tomatillo sauce, onions and cilantro.
The others are adobo steak, spicy chipotle chicken, grilled blackened fish (with lemon yogurt sauce) and grilled vegetables with mozzarella, feta and the same smoky tomatillo sauce that goes with the short rib tacos.
For $7, you get two tacos with black bean sauce and guacamole. Here's a closer look at the guacamole, which is as fresh and pure as it comes. It's primarily mashed avocado, not overpowered by the other components.
The featured salad for Taco Tuesday is a healthy mix of watermelon, mango, red onion, cucumber, baby kale, feta and a raspberry wine vinaigrette (above). The jicama strips on top are sprinkled with chile lime seasoning.
On Taco Tuesday, you get half off draft beers and California wines when paired with a taco special--and just in case you don't want tacos, there are tostadas too. The regular drinks menu has an interesting version of sangria. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon and citrus wedges it includes soju.
Cafe Vida's chef is Francisco Cornejo, from the state of Jalisco. His California-Latin flavored menu offers organic and vegan options, even organic coffee. Meats and chicken are hormone- and antiobiotic-free.
There's a juice bar with fresh-squeezed vegetable juice and power smoothies, including one made with dragon fruit. The garden-like setting is one of the cafe's nicest features.
Cafe Vida, 9755 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. Tel: (310) 287-0140. Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Other locations are in Pacific Palisades and El Segundo.