Monday, March 12, 2012

California Food Tour

The husband and I recently returned from a getaway to the west coast. We had had enough of winter, and it was time for some Southern California sunshine. Here's a little photo diary of a few of our food adventures in the Los Angeles area...

Euro Pane Bakery, Pasadena
I wanted to try every single item in the display case at this bakery. I snagged this piece of almond toast to eat in the car on our way to see Conan O'Brien. One of the most delicious car breakfasts on record. 

The owner of this little cafe was a gem. She was sassy and funny and made a darn good sandwich. I'd go back just because of her. No, I'll be honest...I'd go back for another goat cheese sandwich. Rosemary bread, a generous schmear of goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic sauce. So simple, but oh-so-good.

Donut muffin. DONUT MUFFIN. Two of the most awesome breakfast foods combined into one. Well, I obviously couldn't pass that up. And they make a mean cup of tea at this little shop. They steep it for you so it's just right. You don't have to worry about forgetting the tea bag and turning your lovely mug of English Breakfast into bitter sludge. Oh, no. They have a timer, and they do all the dirty work for you. Which leaves you more time to enjoy your donut muffin.

Le Pain Du Jour, Santa Monica
An almond croissant is really one of the most lovely ways to start the day. When it's perfectly tender, perfectly flaky, and perfectly sweet all at once, well, then I'm just over the moon. If you're in Santa Monica, please drop by this out-of-the-way storefront and snag one of their almond croissants. Your tastebuds will thank you.

After strolling the beach in Santa Monica all day, the husband and I dragged our sun-burned selves to this fabulous deli. First I'd like to mention how much I love delis: I love delis. And Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery was as delightful as I'd hoped. I should warn you, though, this place is bonkers. Bodies are packed three-deep around the deli counter, waiting to order their favorite sandwich or salad. You grab a number and make your husband wait in line while you wander the store admiring their gourmet crackers, olives, and cheese. Even their pop (ok, soda) selection is fascinating. When it was time to order, I told the friendly fellow behind the counter that I wanted a sandwich with prosciutto. "What do you want on it?" "Uhhh," I hesitated. "You want me to recommend something?" "DEFINITELY." So he made me a Don Corenzo. Apparently, this is like a caprese salad on a sandwich with prosciutto piled on top just to rock your face off. Oh, Don Corenzo. You've got it goin' on. 

Yogurtland, Santa Barbara
This place is great. You fill your own gigantic bowl full of frozen yogurt, then ladle on as many toppings as you can handle. You pay according to the weight of your creation. I've been to several fro-yo places with the same business model, but Yogurtland seemed more reasonably priced than all the others. After the husband and I weighed up our mountainous creations (mine towering with cookie dough and peanut butter cups, his, admirably, with fruit), I was expecting a bill of $12. Seriously. When the total was only $8, I almost loaded on more toppings!

Blenders in the Grass, Santa Barbara
In Milwaukee we specialize in things like frozen custard, butterburgers, and bratwurst. I can't think of a single smoothie shop around. Suffice to say, sipping a Tropical Mango Smoothie in the sunshine made my day. Maybe my year.

Mac's Fish & Chip Shop, Santa Barbara
While the husband enjoyed the crispy fish and chips Mac's had to offer, I was more interested in something else on their menu: Mushy Peas. Yep, that's what it says on the menu. "MUSHY PEAS." How could I not try something called "Mushy Peas"? I asked the fellow behind the counter to explain this side dish. "It's like pea soup, but thicker." And it was. Exactly like pea soup. But thicker. Delicious. Why doesn't every restaurant serve Mushy Peas? Oh, I know. Probably because they're called Mushy Peas. 

So, now it's your turn. What's your favorite California eatery? I'll add it to my list to try next time. 


  1. Three Lions Pub in Shorewood has mushy peas available as a side for their awesome English pub menu. You should check it out.

  2. Captain, I just checked out the menu...holy cow. I need to get there ASAP.