Santa Monica Food: Fraiche, Anisette, Stop’n Cafe
I was in Santa Monica quite a bit last month. First I was doing a little recon for my Hot Bartender Crawl. We were originally going to stop into Musha but they were closed for a private event. Fraiche was busy but they welcomed us to the bar. We ordered mussels (lovely), the salmon panini (good but not my fave), the burger (tiny but good) and what was ultimately my fave of the night, the mushroom pizza. I’ve always loved mushrooms but lately I’ve found I really enjoy them on pizza.
Unfortunately, I thought the bar was claustrophobic and drinks were on the weaker and more expensive side. Then again, this was the first stop of the night and we had many, many bars to tour to find the hottest bartenders in Santa Monica.
312 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401-1312
Before the Hot Bartender Crawl, I thought it was best to carbo-load and stopped (heh) at the Stop’n Cafe, a little Greek cafe I’ve been going to for years. I knew I wanted something starchy and relatively quick. It’s right on the 3rd Street Promenade but once you walk in, you’re in an oasis of calm. The walls are decorated with photos of glamorous movie stars.
Pastichio and musaka are some of my favorite things. Both are a bit like lasagna to me but perhaps one has a bit more cream and the other quite meaty. It was a bit odd we were given lots of pita but I supposedly carbo-loading so who cares?
1237 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401-1307
The morning after the Hot Bartender Crawl, I texted someone to bring me aspirin and knew I better get something in my stomach quickly. I’ve heard about Anisette for years and originally wanted to go for dinner but it was time for brunch.
I should have ordered something hearty but considering the delicate state of my stomach, a lighter omelette was in order. Who knew the restaurant agreed with my definition of “light” and served me a very-quickly-gobbled omelette and the world’s tiniest piece of toast? We had to beg for butter which turned out to be a nice vanilla butter. But really for $14, I expected a bit more and thought the half-slice of strawberry, one slice of melon and slice of orange was very, very chintzy. Nor did I appreciate my expensive iced tea that was never refilled until asked.
Good thing I was calmed by walking around the Farmers’ Market afterward. I was tempted to eat a second breakfast, munching along the way but did not. I may not have been hungry before I walked into Anisette but was when I walked out.
I’ll still go back for dinner but would not order the omelette again. Not even for some nice vanilla butter.
225 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401-2207