2 Mart 2016 Çarşamba

Being on the Road… (32) Venice & Santa Monica Picks

You can find a lot of organic, GMO-free "hip" delicacy places at Venice Beach & Santa Monica area but the real challenge is to find less pretentious, uptight places with generous portions...  

We chose to buy our food from Whole Foods & Trader Joe's mostly and cook at home during our last 10 day stay around the area. 

I created this list depending on my expectations of a good restaurant / bar / coffee shop. I don't mind paying for a really nice food; I am a foody after all. But I really regret it when the food is average, the service is comme ci comme ça, and the bill is greatly expensive for what I get. Around here people seem to have adapted it.  

Here is a list of my favorites in Santa Monica & Venice area : 

Do not leave Venice without: 

- Enjoying the healthy food at Café Gratitude (they are tasty, cosy and I like the service. if you are petite, you can be satisfied with their portions. if not, you'll keep ordering. and pay.) 

- Getting coffee at Groundworks (exceptional coffee; organic & fair trade) 

- Having brunch at Gjelina (pricy but a Venice experience, small portions, packed over the weekends, but I'd take it as a cultural experience haha) 

And other favorite pass-time picks at Venice Beach & Santa Monica Area : 

- Will Rogers Historical State Park Hiking Trail: (&other trails at Topanga Canyon)  Inspiring hikes. You must hike to the inspiration point, sit and meditate there for a while…  Also there are lots of trails you can take depending how much time you have. 

- Walk by the beach on the sand at sunset and stare at the infinity (I like that a lot) 

- Take a walk to Santa Monica Pier via Venice Beach festivities and stop by at Rusty's (a good old american/surfers pub -cosy and quiet unhealthy) 

- Take a walk by the Venice Canal Houses (this is a really nice walk) 

- Go to the Cows End Coffee, have coffee, get some sun, and spend time with the locals. They even have a reading spot upstairs. We really liked it here. 

- Visit East Wind Thai Vegan Restaurant on Lincoln Blvd. This restaurant has been like home to us. Reasonable prices, nice ambience, good food and service. 

- RIZE Thai Sushi on Lincoln is our happy hour favorite (everyday between 4.30 till 7pm they offer amazing wine & sushi. Nice ambience, food and service. 

- Trattoria at the Venice Pier A very cosy Italian restaurant. Good pasta, good wine and  their garden is nice, too. If you don't mind gluten, let them bring it on! 

- Fritto Misto is another cute little Italian place, really cosy. We had their lunch special on new years day, their split pea soup was really good. Asparagus ravioli was not the best I've ever had but it was also good. 

- Bowl Kitchen : (Vietnamese) We came here twice. One time we were really ill and their humongous vegetarian pho saved our life. Festive! 

- French Market Café (buy a groupon!!) for a French experience at Venice :D Usually restaurants and cafés around here are a bit uptight and food is microscopic: "LA style" This was nice, even though the owner seemed a little grumpy at first, he came over and asked how we were doing, it was kind of cute. 

- Bay Cities Italian Deli on Lincoln : We celebrated new year's eve with the little fresh, healthy appetizers we got from them and their Sandwiches are to die for! So good and fresh. Almost always packed. 

- Café K : I can tell, their sandwich was quiet good. 

Healthy, Vegan and Organic Picks: 

* Café Gratitude (just go in once. you will want to go again. they are good.) 

* Seed Kitchen a cute, healthy and organic & macrobiotic place for a casual lunch or dinner. It wasn't an unforgettable dinner but I liked them quiet a lot. 

* Satdha Plant Based Kitchen - Their food is delicious and service is nice but I found their portions to be too small. Still worth a try! 

* Mendocino Farms : Truly, really good sandwiches. I really like them. Cosy place. But it can be either a little cheaper or they can add a side with the sandwich. 

Never been but hip: 

* Venice Ale House the always crowded, organic, hip bar at the Board Walk (I kind of do regret that we didn't go.) 

* Plant Food and Wine (I get really cranky when the portions are small and I wasn't sure if that was the case. That's why I didn't go. Call it prejudice.)  

* True Food Kitchen Santa Monica - Their edamame dumplings and spaghetti squash casserole seem to be really good. As a health food enthusiast I'd go; but again, I get really cranky when the portions are too small. I wasn't sure, that's why I didn't go.

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