Tag Archives: Santa Monica

ZenBunni Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate

Zenbunni – Santa Monica, CA

3982323739_0ed8a71ebe_o Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate

Zenbunni

(1) 310 – 452.9605
2307 Main Street
Santa Monica, California 90405

www.zenbunni.com

OPEN HOURS:
Unfortunately closed on 2010

Located in Santa Monica’s Green Light District, the precious ZenBunni boutique adheres to green principles and is adorned with recycled and hand painted architectural remnants, vintage jewelry, curiosities and reclaimed objects.  The more time you allow yourself to captivated by the eclectic artistry of Zen & Bunni Nishimura, the more treasures you will find.

ZenBunni is a beautiful combination of shop and gallery created by two artists.  Collecting both their own works and creations by those they admire, a feel has been created that is unique.  Mediums that appeal to the senses are the guiding principle, with representations of Sight~ photography, painting, sculpture, Touch~ jewelry, furniture, clothing, Smell~ house blended incense from Indonesia, and Taste~ one of the best raw chocolates we have had!

Bunni is a fine art photographer shooting film and printing her own work – this physical approach is easily seen in her pieces.  The framing is a collaboration with Assemblage artist Zen and is remarkable in itself.

The chocolates followed the same pattern to the shop as the incense.  Personally used items that friends, family and customers pushed them into selling!  The raw chocolates came from their transition to raw foods and the lack of an acceptable raw chocolate.  Zen & Bunni then set out to create one for themselves with the help of a neighbor who was a raw chef.  Six months of tasting and tinkering has produced one of the tastiest (if not the best) raw chocolate bar.  Once in personal production, they were quickly in high demand and sold out!  Now taking it on as a product, they have packaged the perfectly creamy and delicious bar as a product in its own right with three flavors: Italian Almond, Black Lava Sea Salt, Rose Mint, Lavender Sea Salt, Gypsy Spice, and Haiku Coconut.  If you are into chocolate, let alone raw foods, – this is definitely for you! and you don’t need to go to Santa Monica, they will be available across  the US in the near future

On a personal note: I would like to express our deepest love for Zen & Bunni and what they have created.  We have yet to meet you in person,but already admire and adore you!

3982323043_93acfe2c0a_o Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate
Raw Chocolates

3983085392_8304e570f1_o Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate

3982322809_f6c997d23c_o Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate

3983085252_0cdc214db7_o Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate

3983086650_f917f6f695_o Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate

3983086126_5c85d68eca_o Zenbunni  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vintage Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Jewelry Food Chocolate

CafeLuxxe Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Caffe Luxxe – Santa Monica, CA

3930160445_ff464276da_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee
Caffe Shakerato

Caffe Luxxe

Coffee shop
(1) 310 – 394. 2222
925 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90403

www.caffeluxxe.com

OPEN HOURS:
6:00 am –  8:00 pm   Monday   – Friday
6:30 am –  8:00 pm   Saturday – Sunday

Caffe Luxxe was by far the best coffeehouse we visited whilst in LA.  Their glittering Italian coffee machine creates wonderful cups of cafe bliss under the hands of their knowledgeable baristas.  Los Angeles, as compared to NY or SF, seems a bit behind the café curve.  A theory could be do to the lack of pedestrian neighborhoods where these types of specialty shops thrive, rather then the palate of the citizenry.  One of the few neighborhood type places is Santa Monica- and that is where we found Caffe Luxxe.  (There is a second location in Brentwood which we did not visit).

3930160997_e912ea5eb8_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Tall ceilings top white walls which are covered with beautiful, framed coffee photography by Tom Benedek.  A few tables with silver chairs seat about 20.  The main L shaped counter is home to a display of pastries, chocolate bars and croissants.

The cappuccino was quite smooth, while the Caffe Shakerato (hand shaken espresso with milk and ice) was extremely yummy on a hot day!  The Caffe Nico (espresso, candied orange and steamed half&half) was quite strong and made a great dip for the light, airy macaroon.    I sampled an excellent drip coffee as well to complete the test trifecta.

3956489897_f5f7448990_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   The Caffe Nico
3930942730_d36402ece4_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Caffe Shakerato

3956490023_c1d5fd4749_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Cappuccino

3957267806_75e9853f88_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Cappuccino

3930160623_743b83ac52_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930160715_6e6d667e29_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee   Macaroons

3930943112_c335218e23_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930942538_147d972a04_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3930943186_382c832ce1_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

3957267940_8ae9de36bd_o Caffe Luxxe  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Sweets Santa Monica Los Angeles LA Coffee

Planet Raw – Santa Monica, CA

3931021560_c0a2c42846_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Kelp Cheezy Pasta

Planet Raw

Organic Raw Food Restaurant
(1) 310 – 587 1552
609 Broadway  (@ 6th St. corner)
Santa Monica, California 90401

www.planetraw.com

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!

Juliano Brotman has created a truly delicious oasis of  texture and flavors.  He has also authored  Raw: The Uncook Book and The Complete Book of Raw Food; currently he is in the process of publishing a third.

In retrospective, the food was so good at Planet Raw that it helped us make the decision to return to LA- a trip that was  worth it just for another of the Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonades 🙂

3957038309_76869d19a1_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California   Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla cream
3957816922_35f46a7269_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Kreamy Electrolyte Lemonade & Mango Tango Shake
3957816782_78759c7444_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Special Mushroom Ravioli in Daikon
3931021234_9541842358_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California   Tahini Salad
3930240001_177002be15_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California   Kelp Cheezy Pasta
3931021612_8039967457_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Maki S&M
3930240393_5896442401_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Vanilla Protein Shake
3930240519_278e1248be_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California
Vanilla Protein Shake


3930239861_d08d247dff_o Planet Raw  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Raw Food Organic Los Angeles LA Food California

Border Grill – Santa Monica, CA

3951689152_3758a9ed70_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

Border Grill

Mexican Restaurant
(1) 310 – 451.1655
1445 4th Street
Santa Monica, California 90401

www.bordergrill.com

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.

3951688568_55d5258edf_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

3951688900_c05c5965a5_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

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!)

3950910941_b16b9fe759_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

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!

3950911907_fc8cbd6b0e_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

3951689286_b242aa26b8_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

3951688118_f8d13579dd_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food

3951689596_11d03c76d3_o Border Grill  -  Santa Monica, CA California Los Angeles  Vegetarian Santa Monica Organic Los Angeles LA Green Food