logo-la-times15 great places for food lovers in Culver City

(June 10, 2015)

In the heart of Culver City’s gallery district is an unusual wine and spirits store called Bar & Garden, which specializes in wines that, at a minimum, have no herbicide, pesticide or fungicide used in the vineyards—and no chemical fertilizer. Their spirits have no artificial coloring or flavoring. The result is an eclectic shop with shelves full of quirky, interesting wines and spirits, most from small producers. The staff is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and the shop holds tastings at least a couple of times a week. Themes have included indigenous Greek varietals, wines grown on volcanic soils, California rosés and Italy versus U.S. (same varietals, different soils and climate). Read more …

logo-la-timesBar & Garden sells natural wines, pure spirits—and air plants

(April 27, 2015)

A few blocks east of the Helms Complex in the heart of Culver City’s gallery district is an unusual wine and spirits store called Bar & Garden. Partners Marissa Mandel and Lauren Johnson took over an old liquor store, kept the sign out front, and opened in January 2013.

Why Bar & Garden? “Because,” says Mandel, a landscape designer, “the beverages we stock all come from plants. They’re farm products.” And to emphasize that connection, the shop displays wines on crates the way farm stands display produce. Staghorn ferns mounted on wood are for sale, too, along with wispy air plants. Read more …

logo-la-magIt’s Easy to Find Rare Booze at Bar & Garden

(March 10, 2015)

The folks who live in Culver City off Washington Boulevard are really fortunate to be able to count two-year-old wine/liquor/plant store  as their neighborhood liquor locker. Imagine walking down to your corner liquor store and being able to pick up a bottle of pechuga mezcal or a 1988 armagnac. That’s this place!

Co-owners Lauren Johnson and Marissa Mandel say things like, “We try to keep an interesting selection of amari” and “We’re going to have our own barrel of Few bourbon.” Yeah, you won’t find any jugs of vodka here. And they won’t stock just any bottle of booze. It has to fit their criteria of being all-natural (no artificial anything) and made from a small producer. Read more …

logo-la-weeklyThree Bottles, One Shop: Bar and Garden in Culver City

(May 8, 2013)

“We’ve always cared about what we eat,” says Bar & Garden owner Lauren Johnson. “And while sourcing our food and trying to eat organic and local as much as possible, one day we were sitting there over a meal with wine and we looked at each other and said, ‘What the hell are we drinking?’”

Thus began the idea for Bar and Garden, a new wine, spirits and plant shop in Culver City, owned by couple Lauren Johnson and Marissa Mandel. All of the wines must meet a “minimum standard,” meaning they have no herbicides or pesticides and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. All of the liquor is small-batch, apart from a couple that the owners can verify use no GMO ingredients. Read more …

logo-la-eaterBar & Garden, a Charming Wine Shop in Culver City

(April 5, 2013)

Culver City’s Arts District is getting a boon from new food businesses, as places like Coolhaus, Cognoscenti Coffee, and Muddy Leek join the Washington Boulevard collection. Bar & Garden is now the local provider of bottled intoxicants, with a commitment toward natural, organic, non-GMO, and pesticide-free wines and spirits.

After rehabilitating a 60-year old liquor store, Lauren Johnson and Marissa Mandel spruced up the place with skylights, greenery, and flowers to make for a pleasant shopping and wine-tasting experience. Most of the wines are small-producer labels, from domestic to Old World, as well as a terrific mix of rums, tequilas, gins, bourbons, and fortified wines that are essential for the modern cocktailian. For now, there are tastings on Tuesday evenings from 5 p.m. to close and on Sundays from 2-5 p.m. Read more …