Pure Bread – Whistler, BC
It’s pretty hard to stay away from this place once it’s on your radar. And then even worse, once you discover your “favorites”, you’d better get there early to ensure that they don’t sell out. My favorites include – the Morning Glory (think cinnamon sugar donut brioche roll on crack), Spinach Feta Brioche, and the Lemon Basil Blueberry Scone. I’d love to meet the person that’s able to walk out of there with just one thing – close to impossible folks! My go-to is to grab a smorgasbord of goodies and set them out after dinner. Voila!…dessert is served!
Rose Café – Venice, CA
The Rose Café has been around since 1979 and underwent a nice little facelift three years ago to bring it up to speed. Chef Jason Neroni takes global influences from his travels and mixes them with the restaurant’s base of Southern California Cuisine. Not only is the food impressive but the decor and space is so inviting. With the help of local Venice artist Craig Stecyk, the walls reflect a lot of history from the neighborhood through photography as well as bright eye catching posters.
The standout of the night hands down was the Brentwood sweet corn agnolotti made Mexican street corn style with cotija, tajin and lime. Oh. My. Goodness. I can tell you for certain that every time I go back to this place I will be ordering this dish. It’s perfect! Everything was wonderful including the cocktails (try the Sea Cucumber – refreshing and not too sweet). Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner – try it all!
Black and Golden Figs – red walnut muhammara, sheep cheese, cucumbers, lime, Persian mint
Grilled Spanish Octopus – sesame eggplant hummus, black beans, hatch chili vinaigrette
Brentwood Sweet Corn Agnolotti – Mexican street corn style, cotija, tajin, lime
Papadoom Kitchen – Paris, France
I know my experience at Papadoom Kitchen is going to be unlike anyone else’s, except for the few other tables dining with us that night. It’s not because of the food, but rather because I happened to be in Paris when France won the semi-finals to go to The World Cup. Not only that, but Papadoom Kitchen is situated on Rue Montmartre, the epicenter of pubs if you ask me and on Wednesday, July 11th, every pub/bar turned their big screen tv’s toward the street so everyone could enjoy a view and the locals went WILD!!! I mean lighting flares and jumping on top of buses wild. It was a little distracting to our meal but entertaining to say the least and fun to be a part of.
Ok – now onto the food and restaurant – stunning, unique, satisfying, perfect! I love Indian food and just don’t eat it enough. We had a hard time narrowing down our decisions but went with our gut and LOVED every dish we ordered.
The decor was equally as impressive. I took advantage of the fact that 99% of Parisians were in the streets watching the game and explored the restaurant myself. Beautiful!
Veg’ Channa Massala and Palak
Gjelina – Venice, CA
I’ve had Gjelina’s cookbook on my kitchen bookshelf for a few years now and was so excited when I found out it’s just blocks from my girlfriend’s house who I was visiting in Venice. We went for brunch (great way to get in there if you can’t get a dinner reservation – just show up before 10am) and while the outside patio was already full, we got in no problem in the main dining room.
We ordered an absurd amount of food for the two of us but I couldn’t help myself and had to try a lot seeing as it was my first time. As generic as it sounds, the fruit plate is a must! You’re not going to find sorry looking honeydew and pineapple on it, rather nectarines, pink pearl apples, plums, etc. DE-lish! We narrowed their huge menu down to the soft scramble with squash blossoms, ricotta and mint, the king oyster mushroom omelette with gruyere, red onion, arugula and lemon and then had to share the lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes topped with créme fraiche and blueberry compote. I wasn’t dubbed “The Good Eater” for no reason. No I’m just dying to go back for dinner!
Élephante – Santa Monica, CA
The restaurant scene is very different in LA – no surprise there – but when we showed up for brunch at Élephante we were met by a hostess stand on the sidewalk and then directed to the elevator to the roof. I felt like I was in my 20’s showing up to a club!
The space is beautiful – think Mediterranean meets Cabo – at least that was my take. Earthy tones and natural materials, cacti, plants, water features, fireplaces, gorgeous central bar and then the view…the restaurant is completely open on one side facing the beach and ocean. They definitely killed it on the space!
For food we ordered the Green Eggs and Avocado Toast. Both very good, not super filling, but great flavors and beautiful presentation. I’d be so curious to see what this place is like at night, not to mention the dinner menu looks delicious. Go if you can get in:)
Green Eggs – soft scramble, zucchini, avocado, arugula, parmesan, salsa verde
Avocado Toast – crispy chili, lemon, sung olds, herbs
Ralph’s – Paris, France
Imagine The Ivy transplanted to Paris and then add beautiful Parisian waiters – yes please! I was first recommended Ralph’s by an acquaintance that lived in Paris for years. And then I read mixed reviews online, some thought it to be overrated while others couldn’t give it enough praise. I already had a reservation for lunch and thought best to make my own opinion. It was lovely! Everything about it. Set in a beautiful outdoor courtyard in the middle of the Ralph Lauren store, it’s comfortable and so relaxing. The food did not disappoint either. We couldn’t resist the cute little lobster rolls for a starter (a special that day) and then I couldn’t resist the lobster salad. Stunning!
I have a hard time recommending lunch spots in Paris to friends simply because I find it fun to just stumble upon cute little bistros while out and about. This would be an exception though if you’re looking for a nice civilized break in the day. Reservations recommended. Enjoy!