Since 2005 Craig and Anne Stoll’s neighborhood gem has been serving up their crunchy delightful pizza, along with soups, antipasti, salads and deserts. As is the excellent trend in the Northwest, they are using local and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. This is the type of pizza that is so good, you wind up ordering one for dessert!
We were lucky, staying with a friend and ordered a couple pies for pick-up. I wish we had ordered more. The star for us was the Broccoli Raab pizza featuring Star Route Farms broccoli raab, caciocavallo, mozzarella, olives and hot peppers. On our next strip to San Francisco, we will definitely be making a more detailed visit to Pizzeria Delfina!
OPEN HOURS: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Sunday – Thursday 9:00 am – 10:00 pm Friday – Saturday
After studying macrobiotic cuisine for fourteen years, executive Chef Tachibe was certified as a Kushi Macrobiotic Chef Premier by the Kushi Institute International. This combined with his formal French technique, brings us his delicious Contemporary Macrobiotic Cuisine in this deli-style restaurant.
The M Cafe offers a good selection of breakfast items as well as yummy soups, macro-sushi, rice bowls, salads, sandwiches, pastries and the best of healthy side dishes; like Kale with Spicy Peanut Sauce, Scarlet Beet Quinoa, Grilled Vegetables, Kabocha squash, Sesame Soba Noodles, Broccolini Pepperoncini, Sesame Seaweed… quite an appetizing list. We especially liked the Rice Milk Corn Chowder and all of the sides that we tried. The 4 side plate is an excellent heaping of color.
We searched pretty hard for truly healthy and tasty food in LA. This was actually much harder then we thought it would be. By chance, we found theM Cafe and it was a happy ending. 🙂
OPEN HOURS: 10:00 am – 10:30 pm Sunday – Thursday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Friday – Saturday
We believe the Raw food world can be divided into two distinct camps- both of which have excellent representation in Santa Monica, California. The first group is focused on the lifestyle of raw and is expressed well by many restaraunts; the second, spearheaded by Planet Raw, is a Culinary perspective.
At Planet Raw, the shakes were phenomenal. Hands down the best we’ve ever had. And add in an extra superlative for good measure! We started with Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonade (lemons, honey, ginger, Strawberries, & electrolytes). Then continued with the Vanilla Protein Shake (nut mylk, sapote, ice, honey and Juliano’s protein powder which consists of pumpkin & hemp seeds, super enzymes, maca, spirulina, blue & crystal mana, mesquite, tocos, sprouted buckwheat, bee pollen, bio culture and silica). And then for dessert, the blueberry instant cleanse with blueberries, gogi berries, maca, bee polen and we added bioculture (lactobacillus micro organisms of L. salivarus, & l. plantarum). All the shakes we tried where topped with a granola and were just really special!
The Tahini Salad was full of tomatoes , seaweed, buckwheat sprouts, avocado, leafy greens and was topped with an excellent tahini dressing.
The Cheezy Pasta is made with kelp noodles; a nice change from the omni-present zuchinni strings- and much more comforting. Combining excellently with the nut cheese sauce the dish was a true delight. We followed the recommendation from our lovely waitress and ordered the side of marinated mushrooms to mix in. Bliss, just bliss!
Everyone working at Planet Raw shown with the light of health. No gray wasted vegans here, only sun-filled smiles and hearts. Having been tooling around the health food world for a while, it is easy to see places where the staff is under-nourished. Here the food gave them all a joy and happiness that you want to tap into. Our waitress shown with an interior sun that made us delve into the menu!
OPEN HOURS: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday – Saturday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Sunday
The Cheese Store is a lovely specialty food outpost smack in the middle of Beverly Hills. From the location, one would expect it to be a bit expensive and have an excellent selection of items. Well, I am quite happy to report I was correct on one account; The many local cheeses stand tall beside those from all corners of the planet while the prices were less then our local Whole Foods. The Cheese store carries all sorts of excellent cheese companions as well, including honey, nuts, pickles, caviar, cold meats, chocolates, fruit & vegetable preserves, cornichons, truffles, smoked fish, pestos, olives, cookies, pastas, oils, vinegars AND a small but rich selection of wines.
The store also makes gift baskets and sells small serving objects, such as fondue pots, serving plates, wooden boards, cheese knives, mini cheese signs, cork screws, picnic baskets, etc.
Selling cheese since 1967, the staff is very knowledgeable and will give you detailed explanations, if you inquire. We found The Cheese Store an ideal during our day of cookie cutter shopping and it is a great place to pick up some yummies if you are planing on going out for a picnic.
OPEN HOURS: Brunch 11:30 am – 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday Lunch 11:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday Dinner 5:00 pm– 10:00 pm Monday – Thursday 5:00 pm– 11:00 pm Friday 4:00 pm– 11:00 pm Saturday 4:00 pm– 10:00 pm Sunday
Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger, the ladies of the well known television show and book series”Two Hot Tamales”, and architect Josh Schweitzer, bring us a more refined take on Mexican food in a funky colorful environment. Their adventures on the downtown Mexico City street corners of the mid eighties paid off with their learning the recipes and techniques of market vendors and home cooks- giving their food a full array of flavors textures and colors. The Border Grill is now headed by executive chef Raymond Alvarez and continues in this tradition of authentic Mexican.
Be sure to stop by for the great Happy Hour and the polite, cordial service. The Santa Monica location is more informal than “Ciudad” , the sister restaurant in downtown LA. On top of the restaurants in Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas, there is a food truck that wanders around LA and can be found by following @bordergrill on twitter.
The strength of Border Grill really lies in the menu. As we often do, we rambled through a delectable assortment of appetizers.
As one would expect, the tamales were extremely comforting- and they go great with a Margarita or Tequila. We really could not decide which we liked best, so we had to keep trying them! Corn Tamales- made with sweet corn, topped with sour cream and salsa fresca Chile Cheese Tamale- manchego cheese, roasted poblano chile, tomatillo avocado salsa Chile Cheese Tamale- manchego cheese, roasted poblano chile, tomatillo avocado salsa
We also enjoyed the Poblano Quesadilla with roasted poblano chiles and chipotle salsa.
Another of the great things about Border grill is active sustainable practices. What we really appreciate is the fact that they just do them, not beat you over the head with the fact that they do them. Among their ethos is the use of organic long-grain rice, beans, and coffee and ensuring the best possible utilization of local and seasonal ingredients. They also have biodegradable to go containers and a natural water purification system. They serve reusable glass bottles instead of bottled water (a major waste as as bottled water is transported from the other end of the world- which in turn avoids waste and transport greenhouse gas emissions!)
Border Grill is part of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program. This ensures that only sustainable seafood is served at the restaurants. Be sure to pick up the mini booklet with information on what seafood is recommended to avoid and what is safe to consume. A very tricky subject these days with all the Mercury to be found throughout the marine food chain! And as a last bit of eco-excellence, as a follower of The Humane Society’s “Protect Seals” Campaign Border Grill does not serve Canadian Seafood.
Santa Monica is a bit of culinary hide-away in sprawling LA. We found several excellent eateries that will keep us coming back. Enjoy!