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Sāmbār Will Become Downtown Culver City's Sunny New Power Lunch Spot

The Indian-influenced restaurant hopes for a May reveal.

Farley Elliott

Culver City’s Sāmbār is coming along nicely. The Akasha Richmond Indian concept is quickly turning over the Ford’s Filling Station space right in the heart of downtown Culver City, mere steps from Richmond’s namesake all-day eatery AKASHA. The result? Something much, much brighter.

Richmond is working with designer Ruth Black from RTR-Homes to bring the space to life, which involves a whole new patio, painting over the brick wall with a gleaming white, and some clever out-of-sight soundproofing of the tall open ceiling. Black is primarily a residential designer, which means Sāmbār should have the same cozy feel at the end of day, with just a touch of sophistication.

Richmond’s regionally-influenced Indian menu is still in the works, but will range from heavier northern fare to the well-known Southern Indian snacks, and even seafood dishes from coastal Kerala.

Perhaps most importantly, you can expect a few tandoori specialties, but done inside of chef Ben Ford’s former hulking wood oven at the back of the restaurant. Beyond being entirely too heavy to simply move out of the way, the oven should provide 800 degrees of naan-making, meat-roasting heat.

Sāmbār is hoping for a May debut, with initial evening hours only. Expect lunch service pretty quickly thereafter; this is office-heavy downtown Culver City, after all.

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