Sunday, August 26, 2012

Santa Monica SIx Taste Food Tour

You might have noticed a long gap since the last Waste post.  A very long gap.  In brief, among the list of changes for yours truly in 2012 is that I have very few travel plans.  But I decided to make an effort to approach Los Angeles now and then the same way that I would approach a city that I am visiting overseas.  Museums, sites, etc.  I have not been a good boy about sharing these things with you, but here is a pretty good one.

Especially for those of you who care most about the food.

A friend got a half-price offer from Six Taste for a food tour.  There were many choices, but in order to use the pre-paid tour before it expired we settled on Santa Monica on a Saturday morning.  Perhaps in the future I will get around to Chinatown, Koreatown, and other towns.

The tour began with, of course, the meet up.

Sixteen intrepid foodies... looking to eat and listening to the spiel from the struggling actor who will be our guide.  There was a very good chance that, considering this tour is centered around Third Street Promenade, I will have eaten at these places before.  He read off the list and, yay, I had not been to a one of them.  This is likely because the Johnny Rockets chili cheese fries tend to dominated my Promenade eating.
First stop, the Röcken Wagner bakery.
Started by a German who moved to Santa Monica, we are told that this bakery is going to be great.
First, pretzel croissant.  It tasted more like croissant than pretzel, but I sure liked it.
Second, a taste of the mint lemonade.  Delicious.  I could drink a gallon without thinking about it.
Third, a bacon and cheddar pretzel croissant.  Yes, they bake bacon and cheddar into the croissant.  This fall under the to die for category.

Fourth, tri-berry scone.  Raspberry, blueberry, blackberry.  I am not scone guy.  This did not convert me.  If you are a scone person, I bet you would love it.

And with that... we walked out into the Farmer's Market for a second stop.
Bill's Bees... an aeronautical engineer who started bee keeping as a hobby.  Today he supplies restaurants and does the farmer's market thing.
The first honey taste, honey from bees fed on sage.  He controls the bees food sources to create different honey.  This honey was fantastic.  Wow.  Just wow.  Amazingly delicious and fresh.
The next honey is from bees fed avocado trees.  Not quite as good as the sage, but if I had not had the sage, I would be using superlatives here.
The last taste, honey from bees fed orange blossom.  Probably as good as the sage.  At this point I wanted to grab the bottle from him and fill my mouth with honey like a cartoon bear.

After some time to wander the farmer's market, we headed to stop three.
No mystery here.  Joe opened the place when he moved here from NYC.  He makes pizza.
If you long for NYC pizza in L.A., come to Joe's.
Next stop, Bar Pintxo.  I have always looked at this restaurant but never stepped inside.
If you want a leisurely meal filled with a variety of tastes, a tapas bar is your best option.
We were given a taste of red and white wine.
Time for the tapas.  This reminded me of Valencia, Spain, where they made me taste several jamón ibéricos, and my conclusion was that they were all tasty and I kind of prefer the Italian version that comes from Parma, proscuitto.  Which is not to say you should ever duck the chance to eat jamón ibérico.
A taste of jamón ibérico on a piece of bread.  This is where the restaurant's name comes from.  The tradition is to pinch different tastes on bread.  Apparently the Latin root for pinch in English and pintxo in Spanish makes life easy for us here.
The second pintxo was white asparagus with herb sauce and sprouts.  Pretty amazing.
Then came the chorizo & cheese & honey pintxo.  Are you kidding?  Why would you not put honey on every meat you eat from today forward?
 We closed here with churros and chocolate milk.  I lost control for a moment and ate mine without taking a picture.  I had to recover and find the last person who did not do the same.  I stopped her from eating that last bite so that I could get this pic for you.
In case you are wondering if you should rush over to Bar Pintxo for a tapas extravaganza, you might be interested to know that Los Angeles Magazine named it the best Spanish restaurant in L.A.  So, yes, go to this place.
We walked over to the bluffs to have sandwiches from the Bay City deli.
They were filled with stuff that I do not like; therefore, you get to look at someone else's Godmother Sandwich.

For our last stop...  Angelato, the Promenade's gelateria.
Since it was early afternoon I got the refreshing limoncello sorbetto.  There should be no doubt that it was light and delicious and refreshing.

How many of you Angelenos would have wanted to join on this three hour eating trek?  Well... email me and maybe we' will put together a bunch of Wasters going on our own food tour.

Not a bad Waste update after such a long break, no?  I will have to check out the pics I have taken this year and see what else should go up here.