Destroyer is probably one of my favorite places in all of this crazy city. While it’s not in a strip mall (I do love my strip malls) it is in that weirdly industrial part of Culver City that feels like a different world far away from the rest of LA. A generally nondescript environment, so modern and minimalist you might miss it if you didn’t know what you were looking for. It could be any coffee shop or start up office or retail space or an art studio. But it is instead the most quietly snobby daytime cafe. Just look at its website. Destroyer is the more chill daytime sibling to the over the top Vespertine across the street (no chill there). Destroyer is cooler than you’ll ever be.
Where as most places in LA exude breezy casual vibes, Destroyer is adamantly extra. Fancy in the least ostentatious ways. A simple black and white space with natural wood accents and ample sunlight, industrial looking shelves filled with ingredients organized in generic practical storage containers. Where they shine is in presentation. The black canvas of the space and understated neutrals of the ceramics that are filled with beautifully plated dishes, painstakingly adored with fresh herbs and florals, like art. Too pretty to eat. Too formal to be a casual daytime cafe. And yet here we are in this alternate reality. And we never want to leave.
Go here for: a luxurious weekday lunch, a not-so-casual outdoor “linner”
Order this: their menu fluctuates throughout the year but some consistent favorites are the chicken confit, blueberries with coconut yogurt, loaded avocado confit, smoked black cod with taiyaki, and whatever fruit forward thing is in season
Amount of time to spend: a few minutes to a few hours, great for a quick coffee and for a leisurely lunch with friends where you end up staying a little too long
When to come: earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon tends to be better; it is busiest at lunch
Parking: is pretty easy on the street (at least in a post-pandemic world with fewer workers in the area)
Other things to note:
Last visited: September 2021
Last updated: October 2021