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Meet Magnus Stefansson of Gravlax in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Magnus Stefansson.

Magnus, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We opened Gravlax in 2014. I am Swedish and Gravlax is cured salmon. It is a staple in Swedish cuisine. Served with mustard sauce and Akvavit. It is delicious! Akvavit is infused vodka from Scandinavia. We serve a lot of Akvavit at Gravlax, probably more than any other bar in the States. Why did we name the place Gravlax? Well, I made a lot of Gravlax for the parties, and friends loved it! It’s fresh and unique. It was hard in the beginning to make people understand what it is all about, but once people came in, they loved the atmosphere, the food, the drinks, the music. Everyone became friends. We are truly a local bar. Unfortunately, now with COVID 19 things have changed. Looking forward to meet again. Until then, come by for takeout! And patio coming soon.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Owning a bar or restaurant is tough. It is a fun job for sure, eating, drinking, flirting, parties, live music…But business is tough. Ever-changing. Always competition, which is good. Late nights, long shifts. Hard to take time off. Staffing is really hard. My partner and I have been friends for 25 years and believe me, it is hard to stay friends running a restaurant. It’s hard to have a love life. But at the end, there is a lot of gratitude. Lots of love from our regulars.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gravlax – what should we know?
We specialize in Scandinavian as well as Mediterranean bar food. My partner is Turkish, so we have lots of meze as well. Drinking food. Gravlax, Pickled Herring, Swedish Shrimp Salad, Smoked Trout Dip, Hummus, Feta, Octopus Salad, Fresh Farmers Market Salads, Cured Meats and Cheeses from Europe, much more on our menu. We are a very unique restaurant. That is a positive and a negative sometimes. People want what they want and can be scared of trying new things. I’m proud to say that we changed some people’s minds.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
In this business, being flexible is very important, And being consistent with quality. You can always rely on us serving fresh food and drinks! Cheers!

Contact Info:

  • Address: Gravlax
    12400 Washington Blvd.
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram:
  • Facebook: gravlaxla

Image Credit:

Arda Koca

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