A Weekend in SoCal

To travel a road already traveled can be uninspiring at times, but when in good company with all parties being open to new experiences, a new spark of excitement ignites. I frequently travel the I-5 with my hubby usually so that he can attend a car swap-meet and so we can visit our son. We try to balance the short trip with something for him, something for me and something for both of us.

After our 7 hour drive, and lively discussion around our listening of the podcast, “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowlings,” we visited with our son and made plans for a morning brunch. Our son has a wonderful job at the restaurant in the Bel Air Hotel. He has had great exposure to quality food craftsmanship and hospitality service. Best of all he has meet many friends in the industry that have shown him great kindness and generosity. One of these said co-worker friends regularly works doubles at two high end restaurants. Working doubles is a common reality in the food industry and I can only admire those who choose this path.

One of the restaurants that my son’s friend works at is on the rooftop of the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica, Ca. The restaurant is called, Calabra and serves a Mediterranean/Californian menu.

Immediately upon arrival, we were treated with such a welcome. Our table waited for us with a Mimosa Sampler! You get to pick your flavor. This was so much fun, as I do love Mimosas!

With full trust, we just let our son’s friend select a variety of sharable dishes. The meal was perfect.

We had the best services, delicious food and the perfect company.

These potato cakes, pickle onions, and lox was absolutely tasty! The humus, crudite and warm flat bread also were delightful.

We had the avocado toast with poached eggs, scramble plate and breakfast burrito.

The the star winner of these dishes was their Moroccan Pancakes!

From Santa Monica, we headed to Long Beach to hunt down a newish bookstore I heard about on Instagram! This bookstore is exactly my jam, because it is a culinary focused shop, called Kitchen Lingo.

I had the best time chatting with the owner, Matt Miller. I had such a good time, I didn’t even get a chance to chat B2B with him. I solely was there for my own personal collection and to support another Indie Bookstore. He has such a wealth of knowledge and is happy to share with culinary enthusiasts. I was so happy to pick up a few new books and a nice wooden bookstand. I will most definitely be back anytime I’m in town, which might be more often since I found my new favorite restaurant, Sushi Nikkei! When you go visit Matt at Kitchen Lingo, make sure to ask him (if he’s not too busy) to share with you some of the history of Julia Child and Simone Beck along with M.F.K Fisher’s story of her hometown! This was totally worth the drive.

To end this perfect day, my husband and I got to eat at a fusion restaurant that caters to my two favorite cuisines: Peruvian and Japanese! Sushi Nikkei has the freshest fish and seafood seasoned with great balance. I felt like every bite met my five different tastes (salt, acid, sweet, bitter, umami). The various dishes also provided a mixture of textures that enhance the eating experience. I can’t wait to go back!

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