My first real outing since I’ve been back, my best friend Erilyn was gracious enough to drive me around all day after I finished up work in Arcadia. What began as just a shopping trip to fabric district in LA turned into another FOODIE ADVENTURE!
First stop: Urth Caffe in Santa Monica
Apparently one of the few (if not the only) organic coffee shop in the area (LA?), Urth Caffee sells their own roasted coffee beans, coffee, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and other entrees geared towards the health and environment conscious. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available, and probably make up at least half of the menu. After finding parking, we head in right at the end of the lunch rush. Erilyn ordered a Spanish Latte
vegan chili soup with fresh baked rustic bread and the “famous” Urth salad, dark greens, olives, feta cheese, chickpeas, artichoke and a light layer of olive oil.
I ordered half a chicken curry sandwich, which was accompanied by dark greens as well.
Stupid me, I decided not to order a coffee at a coffee shop, but I’d had a full cup of black coffee earlier that morning and wasn’t really anxious for another caffeine boost. Tried a bit of the Urth salad and DANG! Those olives were frkn amazing. Very strong flavor, but in a good way, and not enough so that it was overpowering. The greens were fresh and the cheese was as crumbly as feta should be.
My sandwich was very good, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and a different variation of curry. Chopped veggies tossed in a sauce lightly flavored with curry, more like a chicken salad type of consistency, a sandwich spread, light and flavorful, topped with white hard crusted bread.
The best part of the meal was hands down the Spanish Latte. Not saying that I’m a coffee expert in any way (only started drinking coffee seriously 8 months ago!), but I have had my share of good coffee. And that Latte elicited another jaw-dropping “OH MY GOD!” reaction from me. It was a strong coffee, with a slightly nutty flavor, voluptuous and smooth, the milk just perfectly tempering the bitterness of the coffee while allowing the flavor to present itself. Best latte I have ever tasted in. My. Life.
Service is wonderful, the food was delivered within 10 minutes with a wide grin and empty plates taken with our adamant satisfied “Yes, everything was great.” One thing was that I guess because of how popular it is, the iron tables are crammed together in the space they have available, so you can literally reply to the guy who’s asking what to do about his crazy girlfriend at the next table over.
It was $9 for my half sandwich and salad, coffee starts at $3 and goes up to $5. Pastries (which we unfortunately couldn’t stomach) are around $6.
All in all, very characteristic of LA, Southern Californian cuisine, with bright colors, fresh (and boy do I mean the FRESH-EST) ingredients, light and each bite full of fearless flavor.
Next food stop: Famous Cupcake
According to Erilyn, this cupcake shop is the best in LA. The first thing I’m confronted with besides the daily selection of cupcakes is a big square board with the Kardashians posing in the background and sharpie signatures above their heads. Haha, funny, its Kupcakes not cupcakes. I knew I’d been spelling it wrong.
They had about 10 flavors out, Chocolate, Vanilla, Red Velvet, Coconut, Cookies and Crème, Peanut Butter, Strawberry and some other ones.
Me and Erilyn got a Red Velvet to share.
The red velvet was airy and a good ratio between not too airy and not too dense. The frosting was very heavy in crème and a bit too sweet, but it was a decent cupcake. Each cupcake is $3.75.
Next stop: Paulette’s
Also supposed to be another “best”, its macaron shop that also serves select coffee drinks, espressos and the like. We ended up getting there right before closing time, so they only had 4 flavors to choose from. We ended up getting at least one of each, Violet Ganache and Cassis Jam, Rose Ganache, Coconut, and Almond.
We each had a Violet Ganache (had to save some tummy for dinner) macaron.
Simply said, there is magic in these macarons. I don’t know how they can pack so much flavor into each macaron, hopefully its not artificial flavoring, but you can smell it an inch away (trust me, that’s a pretty far distance for cookies to individually smell). The cake part is slightly dense underneath the very thin hard shell layer. The ganache and the jam were AMAZING! Not too sweet, but I could definitely taste the violet and the cassis, it was like a little explosion in my mouth, the burst of flavor was just so strong for the tiny macaron. And that was just one.
Last stop: dinner
2327 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405-2219
168 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
9466 Charleville Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212