A short trip to LA made me fall hard for their cuisine, so much so that I was dreaming of my next trip on the plane ride home. Here’s a peek at two of my favorites…
Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe
1014 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
huckleberrycafe.com
 
If I lived in LA this is where you would find me every weekend. It’s not exactly a hidden gem so you have to be prepared to fight the crowd a bit. And wait. Don’t be intimidated by the full seats and long line though. They take your order in line and by the time you pay a table usually opens up. At least, it did for me both days I brunched. (Yes, I went here two days in a row on a three day trip. Unheard of if you know me. It’s that good.)
Quiche – Tomato, Bacon, Goat Cheese, Butternut Squash
I’m a quiche snob and this little bite from the pastry case did not disappoint. A perfect treat to share along with your breakfast.
“Green Eggs & Ham” – LaQuercia Prosciutto, Pesto and  Arugula on a House Made English Muffin
Breakfast Burrito – Scrambled Eggs, Roasted Onions, Fiscalini Cheddar, Roasted Potatoes, Guacamole, Creme Fraiche and Tomatillo Salsa
These two don’t look like much but underneath that pile of arugula and inside that simple toasted tortilla are fabulous flavors that promise to delight. It’s simple food done very well. And for me, that’s the definition of a perfect brunch.
Milo & Olive
2723 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA
miloandolive.com
After a late brunch and a bike ride along the beach a friend and I found ourselves famished just before the dinner hour, which is apparently not allowed in LA where every restaurant closes down from 2:30pm to 6pm. After an exhaustive search for decent afternoon eats we remembered that Huckleberry has a sister restaurant! This little cafe with a wood fired oven ended up being my favorite surprise of the trip.
Crostini – Smashed Avocado, Roasted Beet, Ricotta Salata
I’ll admit, this is a strange combination. Paired with their fabulous homemade bread though, I would devour just about any topping. Luckily, this proved to be a delightful dish that I should never have doubted.
Free Range Chicken Meatballs – Tomato Sauce, Arugula, Red Onion
Our server recommended this favorite and it was hard to resist paired with the garlic knot below. If you dine here, order both. I haven’t stopped thinking about them since and am going to attempt to recreate this meal in my kitchen.
Wood Fired Garlic Knot – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Stuffed with a handful of heavenly roasted garlic!

Oh, garlic knot. You may be the best thing I’ve tasted this year. Pizza dough, roasted garlic, olive oil. So simple! And yet, shockingly good. The menu warns of a 20 minute wait but don’t let that deter you. Sit back, munch on some starters, sip on champagne and wait… to be blown away.

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