Back in February I blogged about how breaking a bone in my foot ruined the special plans my husband had made for us on Valentine’s Day. Well, three months later, I got a rain check. We went on a walking food tour in Santa Monica on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, and had a great time.
Here’s how it worked. We met up at the information center on Ocean Avenue on a gorgeous sunny day. There were approximately thirteen of us, not counting our guide, the innovative woman who started this walking food tour in the area. She informed us we’d be walking about two miles with five stops for treats. Looking around, our eager faces seemed raring to go.
The first stop was The Border Grill where we had chips and assorted salsas and a delicious potato taco. This was my husband’s favorite treat of the whole tour.
Then we went to Hostaria Del Piccola for a tasty and traditional slice or two of margarita pizza. Good crust and interesting flavor. They were big on red pepper oil instead of flakes, to spice things up.
Next came a new-to-me kind of place known as “raw cooking,” which seems like an oxymoron. The food cannot be heated beyond a certain low temperature, ingredients must be raw, it does not contain any dairy etc. The restaurant is called M.A.K.E. – a variation on the founder’s name Matthew Kenny. This restaurant was attached to a small glassed in Raw and Living Foods Academy where we got to watch future chefs in the making.(see picture at the top of the blog) The thing with raw cooking is that there are still all kinds of ways to prepare completely satisfying meals. We were served black peppercorn sauce over kelp noodles. It tasted great, and I’m still trying to figure out how they made such a tasty, tangy, thick and creamy sauce without using milk or cheese!
My absolute favorite treat of the whole tour was the salami rosa bruchetta from the Curious Cheese Shoppe. Yum, yum, I could have eaten several of these, and I am not usually one for salami. This was a soft, pliable light in flavor salami and it worked beautifully with the rest of the ingredients. Isn’t it pretty?
To top things off, our guide took us for the perfect dessert. Gelato! (Organic, of course). We were allowed to taste as many as we wanted, but could only choose one for our serving. The pistachio and dark malted milk were superb, but I’ve never tasted anything quite as delicious as the mint chip. (I didn’t want to make a pig out of myself, so I didn’t taste every single flavor – there had to be at least twenty and they were all made fresh daily.)
After that, my husband and I took a walk down to the pier and enjoyed the sea air, feeling full and happy as clams and adding another mile to our journey. My one regret about this marvelous day was that I wore some cute little bronze flats instead of sensible walking shoes and got a huge blister on my baby toe.
I’d do a walking food tour again in a heartbeat, and now that we’ve found out they have one in Old Town Pasadena, we can’t wait to try it out!
Question: What is the most unique or exotic dining experience you’ve ever had?