(some) Cali cuisine…

July 16, 2011 § 12 Comments

Marinated beets and avocado with a sprinkling of nuts and orange slices at GJendal which is pretty, everything about the place is pretty and nouveau proper. The drink is a Pilsner with ginger added…(I did think wistfully & momentarily about a burger, tho’.)

And this is GJendal’s interpretation of bottled water. The server brings small chubby glasses and then pours the water from this bottle. (tap? spring? elsewhere?  Water IS precious on this coast.) No ice. All of that is fine, just…different. A nice spin on the water scene, actually.

This is a dessert at El Torito and thank God we shared it and didn’t order one each!  It was delightful delectable and fine. Don’t give me that “chain” restaurant nonsense. This particular El Torito used to be a Don Jose’s that HM and I and Nor frequented 24 years ago! It’s in our “old” neighborhood in Torrance. It was a nostalgic stop for HM and I and worthy of whipping out the camera for this fresh fruit dessert. Sure, we have fresh fruit in the Midwest, but the West Coast keeps the good stuff and ships out the rest. These berries were ambrosial.

Fish and chips at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub in Santa Monica. I was starving so this was the midday meal. You know, being a tourist and temporary resident of a neighborhood is hard work, and a person can work up an appetite. The coolest thing is that the newspaper on which this was served has an article about Carmaggedon.  And the pub was fabulous, all wood, high original tin ceiling and it reaked of the wood and fresh air (all windows and doors open).

Lunch and dessert (dessert shows first – carrot cake!) at the Getty Villa Museum Cafe. Egads, who knew the Cafe food could be as good as the art at the Villa? One fabulous treat after another there as well as the 3 different cheeses, raisin flatbread, apricots, dates, figs and almond pictured above. Wow.

And wha’ts pictured here is the tip of the iceberg, culinarily speaking. Also note that dining buddies make or break the meal. GJendal was the only place where the company was dicey, but that’s another story and suffice it to say that dining with upbeat people is the only way to dine! Kudos to HM, Nor and Knight for great times at the table!

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§ 12 Responses to (some) Cali cuisine…

  • litlove says:

    Now I’m REALLY hungry! 🙂

    Those all like delicious and beautifully presented dishes – lovely!

  • litlove says:

    Now I’m REALLY hungry! 🙂

    Those all look like delicious and beautifully presented dishes – lovely!

  • ds says:

    Okay, now I’M hungry. Scrumptious tasting, and scrumptiously photographed (especially the desserts, but i’m biased 😉 )

  • Typehype says:

    Finns’!!! A wonderful pub! I’m so jealous 🙂 Sounds like you’re having a grand ole time.

  • mandy says:

    The dessert from El Torito looks amazing (well it all looks amazing) but that dessert looks so incredibly delicious.

  • Jodi Stone says:

    They all look wonderful, but somehow I can’t see myself ordering marinated beets with avocado….

  • RL says:

    SoCal is indeed a special place, irrigated semi-arid desert with Rocky Mountain water, a bezillion people chasing the dream and a certain refined hospitality towards diverse personality types and life decisions. And the beaches and coastline are special, even after so many millions of footprints and foundations…..Mellow, man. even in the land of road rage, Carmageddion and Kush….mellow, man….

  • oh says:

    LL – I don’t know what happened! I ate things I normally deny and consumed a fair share of Mexican food which I adore. And now I’m exercising and saying “no” to stuff…Ah, well, one cannot live on protein shakes alone!

    DS – Yup, me, too – I have serious sweet tooth. There are moments where it seems a good idea to skip a meal and have a nice little sweet instead. Sigh.

    T- Well you left a fabulous place but you moved to one just as fabulous in a completely different way. But I gotta say the Cali sun every day and the getting around without a car really “spoke” to me and yeah, Finn’s was perfect, right there just when we decided we needed a late lunch.

    Mandy – A blog meet up in LA (at the beach) would certainly be in order, dontcha think? And honestly, their desserts are so “fruit” centric and delicious.

    Jodi – You’re right. Marinated beets and avocado? I won’t order it again. I mean, I love beets and ditto on the avocado but the lunch left me…hungry and somehow dissatisfied. Put those avocados on a burger, though, or a veggie sub, and then you’ve got something, eh?

    RL – Loved the “footprints and foundations” line, and the truth of it. Yes, it’s a special place, far more unique than all the stereotypes would have us believe. Glad it’s there and looking forward to a return trip!

  • Terri B. says:

    It all looks so good! Apparently you are in my area; I’ll have to look some of these up. You know, it’s been a couple of years now that I’ve noticed El Torito got a lot more “gourmet.” They have obviously been working on their menu. BTW, I finally got around to responding to your comment on my April post. Yeah, major blog slacking this year.

  • Carrie says:

    Mmm… the taste of summer!

  • Becca says:

    Wow, my mouth is watering…over the food and California (love that state!)

    Enjoy, enjoy …

  • Care says:

    I usually always order fish and chips. and beer. Love these photos!

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