Bistros are remarkable in that they somehow manage to be both fancy and casual at the same time, much like a necktie with Taz on it. Feel gussied up without too much fuss with today's Groupon to The Point in Culver City: for $10, you get $25 worth of upscale yet casual soups, salads, sandwiches, and more, plus all the nice wines to go with them or pour on top of them. The Point is open Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Point’s chef and culinary captain, Mark Peel, is not only one of California's most storied chefs, he was a season-two contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, where he faced off against his lifelong nemesis, Doug Zest. After licking each item description on the menu to see which is most pleasing, start with a BLTA (applewood-smoked bacon atop lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and garlic aioli on grilled sourdough, $6.75) or a similarly simple pretzel sandwich towered with black-forest ham and provolone on a soft pretzel baguette ($7.75). Put all those telepathy classes to the test while mentally fork-feeding a deli salad such as the albacore tuna with steam-cracked farro, roasted peppers, and kalamata olives ($3.95 per quarter-pound). Complement any feast with a selection from two-dozen or so red and white wines, available by the bottle (starting at $10) or the case (starting at $108).
The Point is a kind of one-stop picnic shop for those who prefer to spread only the finest fare on their noontime blankets or sun-warmed park tables. If you're hefting your midday fare to some breezy spot, hang out and enjoy The Point's forest of wine-bottle trees, elegant really-see-through glass, and super-hip exposed ducting. Before heading for the door, remember to fill the sweet-tooth void with dentist-despised delicacies such as cookies ($0.75) and dark-chocolate brownies ($2.25).