Dear California, I love you.

hello cali

I haven’t remembered how much I love California since last time I was here. I have never been to Los Angeles, so wasn’t sure what to expect. I do have a little bi coastal love affair with San Francisco and San Diego, but have never been in between. It has been just over about 30 hours here and Wow! I am not only filling my Instagram feed (simply_without) with delicious looking food, I am already doing a round up piece, which I normally spend days on.

Warning, lot’s of delish food pictures below! So here goes:

An Afternoon in Santa Monica, An evening/morning in West Hollywood and a Day in Hollywood

Santa Monica:
We drove right from the airport to the Santa Monica beach, wadded in the water and then I took a nap (and I don’t nap) on the beach. About a half hour later, we wondered up the beach to the main drag and were faced with Big Dean’s Oceanfront Cafe.  It looked very welcoming and we headed in. First plus, they had gluten free beer! Second, a backyard patio. Third, a lime tree growing on property! We were in California for sure.  There wasn’t a vegan option, but the waiter knew his stuff and they made us a great salad and with fries of course! (It is vacation)

                                        limetree santamonicasalad

West Hollywood:
Later on, we head to our Air B and B apartment in West Hollywood. What an adorable neighborhood of LA. A main strip littered with bars, restaurants and cafes. A Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s on the same road, have I mentioned California is heaven? We wondered around and settled on and Indian take out at The Indian Kitchen. The staff couldn’t be nicer explaining everything that was vegan and gluten free. They also had gorgeous pillows!

westhollywoodindian
We had onion bhajis, bindi & a hot mushroom curry!

The next morning, my mother-in-law and I headed into town for a coffee at Eat Well. We didn’t check out the menu, this stop was all about caffeine, but the staff were very friendly.

                                      eatwell   la coffee

Next up, we walked over to Earth Bar for a juice. I knew LA liked their green juice, but come on, this was amazing!

                                            earth bar                             greenjuice

Hollywood:
After a day of sightseeing, things got real at The Original Farmer’s Market.

                                       lafarmersmarket                  fmla

Being a NYer, I was expecting, well, a farmer’s market, but this, as any Angelino would know, is way more. A whole host of stalls, stands, food, drinks and then of course great produce.  After gathering  guacamole ingredients we came across these words:

veganglutenfree
Talk about having me at hello!Vegan, gluten free bread, cheese and cookies? I did start this post with ‘Wow“!

A chocolate chip cookie followed by a pesto, mozzarella cheese panini happened. Yes, I did say the cookie first;) All from Zia Valentina.

vegangfpanini
Pesto, mozzarella and olive tapenade pesto panini!
vegangfcookie
Vegan, gluten free chocolate chip cookie

After a delicious and sunny day (oh yeah, the weather is perfect too!),  it was time to head back to the apartment and regroup, but first, let’s make guacamole.

localguacla
Slice, combine, mash and enjoy!

Thank you to my husband for making the guac and giving me the time to write! I have never had guacamole this good!  The fresh, local, in season ingredients were amazing: creamy avocado, fresh tomato and sour limes made for the perfect guacamole and with that…
California you’re perfect, the end…until tomorrow;)

Oooo what will I write about tomorrow?….

bethblog

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