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Cheap Eats

Lulu’s Fountain Juice Bar ~ Culver City

10:58 AM PDT on August 17, 2006

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12618 W. Washington Blvd. @ McConnell ~ 310-572-4625 ~ Culver City (TACO Map)

This place is like buried loot. Pretty passable on the street, it might have the potential to save lives. For along with standard Mexican fare of undeniably awesome homemade abilities is a full-on mutherluvin' juice bar with fresh natural juices like cactus, papaya, apple, and carrot, as well as combination drinks and smoothies. Bare bones and barely lit, it boasts a unique twist in a standard setting, although the watermelon people and Jesus clock do suggest extra individuality.

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I had little clue what happened the night before (was I really on a boat at some point, CBro? Who put me there?) at a wedding in OC. Having to fulfill a hammered promise I made to a total stranger to take them to LAX at 7AM, some fresh juice would have done me some salvation. "Is the cactus any good?" I asked the Mexi-MILF at the regsiter. "Not really. Everything else is good..."

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I turned to the glass keg of creamy horchata, knowing this was not from the makers of Bang or Ole, but a homemade brew with heart, topped by a few bobbling berries. Then my mind wandered to tacos and I couldn't resist, I'll be healthy tomorrow.

As expected, the horchata delivered, as did the tacos. Like the best horchata, the sweet milky texture had a natural dash of the land in it, an slight almond infused flavor along with the sugary overtones. The $1 carnitas taco wasn't my preferred wet style, but were pretty mind-blowing nonetheless and sadly gone in two bites. Supple, heavily-spiced, and crispy on the ends, it was nicely balanced with lava-red salsa and a spread of lettuce, providing a textural framework for the natural juices to emerge through the fixins'. The pastor was dependable and delicious, but not on the level of the carnitas. I had no room for asada, but will be back.

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Leaving only four dollars lighter, I was full all day and wondering if whether the next mission I should really conquer are the Mexican eateries of Washington, the ones I've tried so far having been stellar. Meanwhile Lulu's is a treasure for those with both strict and slacking diets.

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