Chipotle Mexican Grill Opens in Culver City

Chipotle Mexican Grill Opens in Culver City


What does Chipotle mean? It's a Jalapeno pepper that is dried and smoked, having a smoky sweet flavor, and as a rule it's paired to a dark red sauce. The gourmet Mexican Grill is a burrito restaurant with many faces. You will find it at the intersection of Culver and Washington boulevards. It's snuggled among the mostly independently owned upscale eateries.

This marvelous place has already been listed as one of five standout fast-food spots in the Health Guide that lists America's healthiest restaurants. The idea is simple: build your own gourmet burrito, fajita burrito, taco or burrito bowl. The flavor and healthiness are from naturally raised, antibiotic-free meats, organic beans, and hormone-free sour cream. In addition, the tortilla-less Burrito Bowl lets you ramp up the proteins and veggies. Grab-and-go fare has never been healthier.

Here's how it works. Basically there are four items on the menu. The Burrito starts as a giant flour tortilla, with cilantro-lime rice, and choice of pinto or vegetarian black beans. Then you choose what you wish to have in it or on it. The order comes with salsa, cheese or sour cream, and lots of the best guacamole in the world. You will then choose either chicken, steak, (grilled and marinated for hours, before grilling) carnitas, "barbacoa" or vegetarian; all less than $7. The "Fajita Burrito" comes with sauteed peppers and onions instead of beans, and each of the four menu items has it's own choices, such as the chicken and steak etc.

You are then asked to select one of the salsas listed, or if you wish to have extra chips & Guacomole, priced from .90 cents to $2.40.

The new Culver City location serves naturally raised pork and chicken from animals raised in a humane way, never given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet with no animal by-products. In addition, all of the dairy Chipotle milk is from cows never treated with synthetic hormones (recombinant bovine growth hormone), and an increasing percentage of the beans are organically grown.

Chipotle announced its commitment to serve produce in its restaurants from local farms. Its all part of the their vision to serve what founder, chairman, and CEO Steve Ells calls "Food With Integrity," a pledge that has the company working with like-minded sources to help it serve food raised with care, not chemicals.

In 2002, Chipotle became the first national restaurant chain to serve naturally raised pork. They then began serving naturally raised chicken and beef in a number of markets, coming from animals that receive no antibiotics or hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet. Today, all chicken served at Chipotle is naturally raised, also naturally raised beef is in more than half of its restaurants. Chipotle also serves cheese and sour cream made with milk from cows that are not treated with the synthetic hormone rBGH.

While working at Stars restaurant in San Francisco, Culinary Institute of America graduate Steve Ells was inspired by the taquerias in the city’s Mission District, and created the concept for Chipotle Mexican Grill. In 1993, he returned to his hometown of Denver to open his restaurant near the campus of the University of Denver. Since then, his single burrito restaurant has expanded nationwide and now there are over 730 in over 30 cities. The entrepreneurial spirit of Ells and his dedication to quality food and ingredients have prompted praise from many, including the New York Times, which proclaimed that Chipotle provides “a chance to witness and taste a shift in American fast-food,” TIME magazine, noted how “Chipotle took a fork in the road that changed everything,” and the Wall Street Journal, suggested that “Chipotle has arguably become the most successful fast-food chain in recent years by rejecting almost every major technique on which the industry was built.”

You can't miss this place, just look for the lines of people waiting to get in. However, you can fax your order to (310) 841-5073, then confirm your order at (310) 841-0561.

Along with a wall of glass to the beautiful area outside, (in Culver City,) there are fine looking metal tables on the patio under a red awning, and heaters for weather changes. Each restaurant uses the same materials, but no two are alike. All major credit cards accepted. For more information, visit 9512 Culver Blvd., Culver Clity; (310) 841-0561. I personally loved the delicious Burrito's, and the whole package!