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Cheap Eats

Outdoor Grill ~ Culver City

10:10 AM PDT on October 18, 2006

Outdoor Grill Sign

Outdoor Grill ~ 12630 1/2 Washington Place, Culver City ~ Taco Map

Carwash-adjacent dining experiences have the potential to rise to the top of the heap when it comes to "only in LA" but sadly most of the options are pretty mediocre. New hope was breathed into the genre when the great Bandini reported on of the city's best taco trucks operating in a car wash lot, but it was further revealed that the truck only operates when the car wash is closed. Benito's and their awful-yet-satisfying taquitos rule the carwash scene, and you can get a good Espresso at the Lincoln Car Wash near the 10 in Santa Monica.

But the king of carwash food has got to be Culver City's Outdoor Grill...

View from Outdoor Grill Patio

This is the view from the top patio at the Outdoor Grill-- you are perched directly above the lot and can watch to see when your car is done. Unlike most carwash-adjacent restaurants, you don't need to either get your food to go or keep craning your neck to see if your car might be done. Sit up here and relax-- although the Speedy J Hand Wash promises swiftness right in their name, you'll be waiting the normal amount of time.

Outdoor Grill at the Outdoor Grill

Outdoor grill isn't just a name. This is where the grillmaster and his assistant grill up chicken and tri-tip over an open flame. Both are tasty, but the tri-tip sandwich, a simple but satisfying meat-bomb, is the thing to get here. It's not quite Santa Maria parking-lot worthy, but it's definitely got all the right tri-tip flavors-- burnt, spicy and meaty.

Tri Tip Sandwich at Outdoor Grill

Bread, tri-tip, and a small amount of BBQ sauce (the less the better, really). It's best eaten with large amounts of Tapatio instead, which the Grill happily supplies on most tables up top. It takes about as long to eat as it does for the Speedy J to handwash your car, so keep an eye out when you're done for someone holding up a towel next to your ride.

Do you know of some good carwash-adjacent eats? Let us know in the comments...

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