Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Few of My Favorites

Finally home to sunny Los Angeles for summer before I must return to the cold, gray, rainy state of Oregon, I knew I had to immediately jump right in to the task of catching up with all the yummy food I’d been missing out on! This summer was supposed to be spent losing the freshman 15+, but that might be put off for awhile… From old favorites, to brand new hot spots, these are just a few of my favorite hometown eats. 
Huckleberry Cafe

A cute, hip, but most importantly very tasty cafe/bakery in Santa Monica. Unlike most trendy, celebrity serving, LA eateries, this place actually has the food to back their reputation up, not just the “scene”. I recommend the corn blueberry muffin, homemade english muffin and jam, cinnamon roll, and the maple bacon biscuit (as a non-meat eater I’ve never tried it but everyone I know who’s had it loves it). They also have a tasty PB&J on fresh brioche with homemade jam on their kids menu for any fellow peanut butter enthusiasts!

*tip! expect long lines, especially on the weekends. if you’re only ordering baked goods and coffee, you can skip the main line and go to their “express checkout”

Huckleberry Cafe: 1014 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401

Griddle Cafe
I love pancakes. Possibly my all time favorite food. I’m very picky when it comes to pancakes, and tend to prefer making them myself at home rather than going out for them, but Griddle Cafe in West Hollywood does them right. The size of the food and crowds might fool you into thinking it’s all hype and no flavor, but these pancakes are sweet and moist. My favorites are the “banana nana” brown sugar baked banana, and the “eyes wide open” chocolate chip buttermilk pancakes with a shot of espresso (honestly I don’t taste the coffee but I love chocolate chip pancakes). Not only do they have great pancakes, but their french toast is AMAZING as well. It comes encrusted with cookies, filled with nutella, or with peanut butter, but I think the classic is the way to go. The more the merrier when you’re going to griddle, the pancakes are ginormous, picture a birthday cake made of pancakes, and if you want to try a variety of flavors, you’ll need many hungry friends, or lots of space in the fridge for leftovers.

Griddle Cafe: 7916 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90046
Sunny Blue
What better combination of things exist than the beach and onigiri? For those of you unfamiliar with onigiri, it is a Japanese snack of a ball of rice filled with a variety of yummy things, wrapped in nori (seaweed), and is delicious. Opened in Santa Monica by the parent of an old classmate of mine, Sunny Blue is exactly what this town has always needed, but somehow no one thought of it sooner! Perfect food for a beach picnic, I recommend the spicy salmon, hijiki, and when available, miso mushroom. You can even get them made with brown rice! Other flavors include miso beef, tuna mayo, and daily specials like curry chicken and miso mushroom. They’re made to order, so the rice is still hot, and the seaweed nice and crispy, 100 times better than the cold, hard, and not so fresh one’s you can get at japanese convenience stores. Took my boyfriend here for the first time, and he’s hooked. He even had me go out and buy him seaweed so I could try to recreate them for him at home, but I ended up burning my hands on the rice and ripping the nori. We’ll stick to sunny blue from now on.

Sunny Blue: 2728 Main St. Santa Monica, 90405

Windward Farms
I’ve been a fan of Windward Farms ever since my mom took me there as a toddler when we lived in Venice and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. They make awesome, fresh (and massive)  sandwiches, quesadillas, and smoothies, and it’s the perfect place for a summer lunch at the beach. The tuna and egg salad sandwiches are both great, and so is their crunchy, super cheesy, shrimp and veggie quesadilla. 
Very happily eating my tuna sandwich at Venice Beach. Make sure to get it with the works- avocado, sprouts, tomato, lettuce, and lots and lots of mustard!

Windward Farms: 105 Windward Ave. Venice, CA 90291

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