Culver City is more commuter than pedestrian friendly, flanked by major thoroughfares that are uncomfortably akin to freeways at rush hour. For the average mobile worker, it’s necessary to make contingency plans, in case you get stranded in bumper-to-bumper traffic. You’ll want to check out, or set up at, Cafe 70 Degrees then, not too far from the 405 and a really great respite from the snarls of Venice Boulevard.
Amidst a row of shops and restaurants in a shopping center, Cafe 70 Degrees serves sweets well with myriad renditions of the now popular Taiwanese shaken iced tea drink import known as bubble tea. The service is prompt and you can count on some type of a fun flavored cheesecake available for order by the massive slice. (When we visited, we got the cappuccino cheesecake; another time, it was the taro.) All that sugar will be a energy turbo boost to your workflow momentum.
When you’re crashing from that sugar rush, you can take a break at one of a number of nearby spots like Samosa House across the street. A big benefit to stopping in at Cafe 70 Degrees is the neighboring retailers. There’s a Coffee Bean across the parking lot, helpful in case you need a quick alternative when the teahouse gets packed.
It can get a bit noisy, and a bit smoky with part of kitchen in the main room, so you can opt for one of three tables outside. Keep in mind there’ll be plenty of people watching material due in part to the grub-goers going in and out of Pampas Grill, a pay-by-the-pound churrascaria next door. Note too that it can get busier at night, so you might want to get your work done first and, if you’re still waiting out the traffic, try to get your friend to meet you there for a round of Operation. She won’t mind — just snag her a slice of that cheesecake.
Café 70 Degrees: 3863 Overland Avenue, Culver City; (310) 837-6000. [map]
Ambiance: Somewhat bustling. News or sports airing on TV in the background. A steady hum of activity from both servers and customers during the lunch rush into the late afternoon.
Amenities: Unlimited password-protected wifi. Outlets throughout inside. Board games. One restroom.
Drink/Food: A sweets-oriented menu — cookies the size of your face and cakes, to name two — with a handful of sandwiches, anchored by an extensive list of bubble tea drinks.