Platform is one of Culver City’s recent additions to the the slew of bright and shiny developments in the Hayden Tract. Part boutique mall part outdoor space, Platform is a perfect example of the wave of gentrification that’s been coursing throughout West LA.
Hayden Tract, which used to be Culver City’s “wrong side of the tracks”, is now home to top creative companies such as Beats, Jam City, and PopSugar, to name a few. It also features distinct architecture –– the most noticeable being the building that houses Vespertine, the upscale eatery that boasts an incredibly unique testing menu by chef Jordan Kahn.
Platform is located on Washington Blvd., close to the 10 freeway which is very convenient for those traveling by freeway.
With the combination of creative residents and the general low-key vibe of Culver City, Hayden Tract is the perfect location for Platform.
The outdoor shopping mall is a little hard to find if you’ve never been. The only distinguishing part that’s visible if you’re approaching from the North is the trippy, rainbow facade of the large Platform parking garage. I’ve taken many photos of this garage which is fitting since the rest of Platform is just as visually appealing.
Aside from being the perfect people watching oasis, Platform was built to be a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing destination. With basket woven seating, cactus and succulents sprinkled throughout the grounds, restaurants with Instagram-worthy interiors, and shops with well curated, on trend clothing and accessories, Platform is the millennial hipster’s dream and the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon.
One of the most notable aspects of Platform is the diverse selection of eateries. Here are the mainstays:
- Roberta’s Pizza: Originally from NYC, Roberta’s Pizza has become a mainstay at Platform. Located across from SoulCycle, it’s the perfect post workout treat 😉 The coolest part about Roberta’s pizza is the pretty interior which features a large mural by one of my favorite artists, Jillian Evelyn.
- Hayden Wine Bar: My go to date spot. Hayden Wine Bar features an eclectic wine list in addition to a perfect little menu if you’re looking for snacks to go with your wine of choice. Hayden is located in the same building as Tom Dixon and the ambience is quite romantic.
- Loqui: Platform’s resident Mexican restaurant, Loqui only has two options for food and both are beyond delicious. Option 1: Primos – large tacos with your choice of corn or flour tortilla and meat. Pro tip: they make flour tortillas in house so this is the way to go. Option 2: Plate – Everything in the primo, but served over rice! Loqui does a fantastic job with providing simple, flavorful Mexican food that you’ll definitely want to revisit.
- Sweetgreen: This Sweetgreen location is specified as a R&D version of the beloved salad bar – they release new salads here first so for those of you foodies looking for something new to brag about, make sure to visit this location.
- Boba Guys: Originally created in SF, Boba Guys is not your average boba shop. They serve high quality, artisanal milk tea and have a variety of flavor and add on options. If you feel like trying something other than the original black milk tea, go for the iced strawberry matcha. It’s one of their most popular options for a reason!
- Van Leeuwen: An ice cream shops for vegans AND non-vegans! Van Leeuwen has fun classic flavors like mint chip, pistachio, and salted caramel and also mix things up with seasonal flavors like peppermint stick and almond and pear tart.
- Sao Acai: Platform wouldn’t be an LA destination without the presence of acai bowls. Sao Acai offers a selection of delicious acai bowls and smoothies that range from $7 – $11 dollars depending on the item. My personal favorite option is the Tropical bowl – it contains a blend of acai or pitaya, coconut milk, pineapple, banana, strawberry and mango and is topped with granola, strawberry, blueberry, coconut, honey. Very scrumptious and healthy.
While majority of the shops at Platform have higher price points, they are worth perusing. Whether you need a new pair of shoes, sunglasses, set of wine glasses, or new hand cream, Platform has a bounty of shops with goods that range from local artisan made to higher end.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Poketo: The perfect shop for all things #artsy. Poketo is known for their well-curated stores around LA. The first Poketo store opened in Little Tokyo and since then have sprung up in and around various LA hotspots like the LINE hotel and ROW DTLA. The Poketo store at Platform is on the smaller side but has everything from cute jewelry to cookbooks to birthday cards. Really the perfect store to pick up a present for a loved one!
- Freda Salvador: I own way too many pairs of shoes but constantly daydream about owning a pair of Freda Salvador boots. “Designed in California, Handmade in Spain”, Freda Salvador shoes are gorgeously made and most definitely on trend. The shop has a variety of shoe styles, from studded oxfords to snakeskin boots, you’re sure to look incredibly hip after spending some cash here.
- Reformation: Our favorite cool girl brand has a brick and mortar at Platform and we’re more than happy about it. Reformation is known for their classic, sustainable clothing that ranges from denim to gorgeous flowy dresses. Their website boasts that their “new and improved sustainable factory in LA allows [them] to develop, manufacture and ship from under the same roof as our headquarters. [Their] factory uses the most efficient, eco-friendly and pro-social technologies and practices [they] can get”; this says a whole lot about the brand and makes them even more appealing outside of the beautifully designed garments.
- Aesop: Ahhh, Aesop. This shop is one of the nicest bath and body shops to grace Los Angeles, and has a wide selection of soaps, hand creams, hair products, serums, masks… you name it. They combine gorgeous scents and high-quality ingredients to craft their very popular products. One of my favorite Aesop items is their Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm –– this moisturizing lotion combines mandarin rind, rosemary leaf, and cedar atlas (fancy, right?) to create a gorgeous fragrance and also provides you with the supple skin you’ve always lusted after.
- Salt Surf: The most laid back and aesthetically pleasing surf shop you’ll come across in this part of town. Salt Surf stocks minimalistic shirts, sweatshirts, and hats that scream SoCal chill; make sure to stop by if you’re looking to add a bit of surfer chic to your wardrobe.
- Tom Dixon: Always save the best for last. Tom Dixon is the behemoth of luxury items at Platform and for those of you (myself included) who can’t afford a $600 light fixture, this shop is the perfect drool-worthy window shopping opportunity. Take a stroll through the store and ogle at the variety of elegant light fixtures, furniture, candles –– the list goes on!
As you can see, the dining and shopping experience at Platform is quite incredible. The variety of options is the best part and you’ll find yourself discovering something new every time you visit.
While Platform is technically an outdoor mall, it’s also now home to a slew of events like pop-up shops, outdoor markets, and trunk shows that are all free and open to the public. Here are some notable events that usually take place at Platform:
- Modern Artisan Market: A gathering of eclectic brands and shops like Prism Boutique, Hey Moon Designs, and Betsey Carter Ceramics. Adorable items galore!
- Reformation Vintage Fair: A selection of vintage items curated by Reformation, so you know it’s gonna be good.
- Purposeful Adoption Shop: If you’re looking to adopt, or to just hang out with a bunch of cute pups, this is the event for you.
- Hand & Rose Flower Truck Residency: Not your average flower shop, the Hand & Rose Flower Truck is exactly what it sounds like… a florist on wheels! They offer a variety of gorgeous bouquets that are easier on the eyes than your average bunch of carnations.
Platform is synonymous with a new and improved Culver City –– with an incredible library of options in all realms of dining, shopping and entertainment, this deconstructed shopping mall is a place to try new things and expand your palette. Whether you post up at Loqui for a primo and beer, or wander on over to Tom Dixon to splurge on a new light fixture, or just catch up with a friend in the outdoor lounge area, Platform is about to be your new favorite hangout spot in LA.