Once you have visited Los Angeles and the Pacific coast, it is hard not to write about the amazing food and drink on offer there. After all, it is California, the state where healthy living, exercise and healthy well-being in general is a norm. The menus in the restaurants and cafes definitely showcase this healthy approach to life as you can’t go far without a kale or avocado based dish. However, it was hard not to notice a small paradox with this healthy food. Most places we visited, one portion would easily feed two people so bear it in mind – the servings are big.
Breakfast in the Ocean Breeze
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I was looking forward to eating it California style. We stayed in the Redondo and Hermosa Beach area so my experience with Cali food will be based mainly on the places we visited here. There were plenty of cafes within a walking distance or, if you are doing it LA style, within a bike ride distance.
While riding along the Hermosa Beach promenade we stumbled upon the Bonaparte Cafe. Sitting in the warm morning sun and enjoying the gentle ocean breeze we tucked into a typically American breakfast consisting of hot oatmeal, usually served with raisins and brown sugar, homemade strawberry granola pot and a couple of cinnamon rolls for the kids. Enjoying the delicious food and with a big mug of coffee in our hand we watched the life go by. It is definitely my kind of living!
On a Hunt for Coffee
Eat at Joe’s cafe was my internet find when we were planning our LA trip. The menu was extensive, looked good and there were quite a few healthy options. The place did not disappoint. Feeling jet lagged we turned up at Joe’s at 8am and the place was pretty busy. It had a very homely feel and a simple set up. We joined another couple at a long table and straight away started on unlimited mugs of coffee. This time I opted for buckwheat pancakes (hmm, not sure…), we also had eggs and bacon and obviously waffles for the kids. Warning, do not order 3 pancakes like I did. Each of them is a size of a steering wheel! Anyway, I really liked the place. It was authentic, full of locals who were keen to chat about the Queen and Trump.
The other local place to try for breakfast in Redondo Beach is Catalina Cafe which has a look of Central Perks cafe from Friends. Comfy armchairs, real deal java, fresh muffins and breakfast burritos. Unfortunately, we did no manage to try Polly’s on the Pier as it was ridiculously busy. This cafe had the best seats around, on the pier and overlooking the Pacific. Well. there is always next time!
Dinner Cali Style
The thing I like about travelling is exploring the local restaurants. I like the spontaneity, the surprise and eating where the locals do. We managed to visit three local restaurants while in Redondo. On our first night we found ourselves in Ruby’s Diner which looked like a typical American diner you see on TV. The menu offered all kind of different burgers but it also had delicious fish and chips as we were so close to the ocean. As I love avocados and try to pick healthy food, I went for a guacamole turkey burger. It was freshly made and really yummy. It is worth a mention that nearly all the restaurants here offer unlimited soda and this place offered unlimited fries as well.
Cheesecake Factory is a famous chain of restaurants all over the US. There was one just round the corner from our hotel. I have to say I have not much to say about it. We were all terribly jet lagged on the day we visited. The lighting was dimmed so it did not help our tiredness. There was so much on the menu – pasta, shrimps, chicken and lots of chipotle and avocado. However, my eyes were drawn to a “super food” and “skinnylicious” section of the menu. Instead of usual carb feast of pasta or pizza, I opted for lettuce tacos and my husband had a kale salad which was surprisingly good and tasty.
Obviously, we had to try the famous cheesecake. It took us about 10 minutes to decide which one to have. There were about 25 different versions on the menu to choose from. We eventually went for a piece of fresh strawberry cheesecake which we devoured in under 5 minutes. It was very rich so if you are a health conscious person, please share as that piece was 730 kcl. Ouch!
Save the best lobster for last!
To finish off our culinary journey round Redondo Beach, we went to Joe’s Crab Shack which was just round the corner.
The restaurant’s strap line is “we bring the shore to you” and this is exactly what you get. It is a heaven for shrimp and crab lovers! You get crab soups, crab salads, steampots, crab buckets, lobster dips, the list goes on. I went for an appetizer of lobster nachos. It was absolutely amazing and big enough to feed two people. The kids had the freshest fish and chips ever. We had so much fun watching a couple of lads on the next table wearing bibs and using lobster crackers and tucking into an actual bucket of buttery lobster. We soaked the grease up with a pint of local IPA beer which is quite popular here. And there were s’mores… the sweetest dessert ever! A huge slice of chocolate cake between two crackers topped with melted chocolate and freshly toasted marshmallows. Seriously indulgent, sweet and definitely one to share.
Cheers and till next time!