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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:)

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Green Eggs – soft scramble, zucchini, avocado, arugula, parmesan, salsa verde

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Avocado Toast – crispy chili, lemon, sung olds, herbs

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Trokay – Truckee, CA

You never know what you’re going to get in mountain towns but until recently gourmet hasn’t been on the top of the list unless we’re talking about Aspen or Vail Colorado.  Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than juicy burgers, a cold beer and a greasy spoon diner for breakfast when I’m near the mountains but this was a very pleasant surprise.  Molecular gastronomy mixed with a bit of comfort food as well as classic French dishes.  Very unique, very seasonal and very well done.  If you’re looking for a nice night out don’t overlook this place.

You have three menu choices at Trokay.  The Prix Fixe Menu for $85 (4 courses), the Chef’s Tasting Menu for $145 (10 courses), or the A La Carte Menu.  Although a lot of the items we ordered were on the Prix Fixe Menu, we decided to order off the A La Carte Menu to get exactly what we wanted.

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Baby Heirloom Beets with Redwood Hill Farms Chèvre, Candied Native American Black Walnut Vinaigrette and Petite Mache

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Maryland Soft Shell Crab Tempura with Pickled Fresno Pepper, Creole Remoulade, Fried Capers and Heirloom Lettuces

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Kauai White Shrimp a la Nage with Piri Piri Beurre Fondue, Local Gristmill White Polenta and Baby Corn

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