Yes, summer is almost upon us, and along with the glorious perfumes emanating from the abundance of natural blooms, there is to be found another form of olfactory enticement, that of plates of tantalizing delights, being hurried to the tables on patios, piazzas and verandas of The Westside’s myriad of restaurants, cafes, grills, and coffee shops, that all cater to that most enchanting and agreeable of feasting experiences, al fresco dining.This week we will take a literary stroll to just a few of these delightful diners in order to get a taste of what kind of â€œtasteâ€ one can expect from these locations, that all bathe beautifully in our sunny Southern California climes.Mercedes Grill, 14 Washington Blvd Marina Del Rey (310.577.0035)This Latin and Caribbean inspired eatery offers a cute sidewalk patio, and is a favorite brunch stop for locals and visitors. Serving, breakfast, lunch and dinner, itâ€™s just a stones throw from the beach and a pebble chuck from the Venice Canals. Price range: Medium, more Toyota than Mercedes for sure!Ye Olde Kings Head, 132 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica (310.451.1402).A long patio, with heaters, runs along virtually the whole length of this British Santa Monica institution. All three squares are served, including their fantastic British breakfasts and award winning Fish & Chips. Enjoy a refreshing pint of British beer with your meal, and then hop (or slowly meander) to either The Palisades Park bluffs, or Santa Monicaâ€™s stimulating Third Street Promenade for shopping or entertainment. Price range: Medium, it wonâ€™t set you back you a Kingâ€™s ransom!Urth CafÃ©, 2327 Main St, Santa Monica (310.314.7040).This organic coffee shop plus has a fresh menu to enjoy on its elevated â€œLâ€ shaped patio that gives â€œsuperiorâ€ views of Main Street and the people strolling by, whilst all the time giving you the opportunity to enjoy the finest organic coffees and teas, great baked goods, or a light meal. Price range: Low to medium, it doesnâ€™t cost the Urth!Siamese Garden, 301 Washington Blvd., Marina Del Rey (310.821.0098)This restaurant featuring a menu from Thailand is situated right next to the Venice canals, and is basically a converted cottage that also boasts a cute garden patio, from where you can enjoy tasty exotic Asian cuisine, as well as the dulcet tones of the occasional quack from a passing duck (not of the Peking variety, either). Price range: Medium, the check wonâ€™t Thai you in knots.Geoffreyâ€™s, 27400 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu (310-457-1519)Donâ€™t even consider showing up without a reservation here, as, with its haute cuisine, non-hoi polloi appeal, and a patio that gives â€œto live forâ€ views over the ocean, itâ€™s not your average chophouse! Brunch, lunch and dinner are served, and amongst the dishes, you will find Prime Kobe Wagyu New York Steak, SautÃ©ed Day Boat Sea Scallops (Hudson Valley foie gras risotto and a drizzle of star anise infused pomegranate reduction), and Two Pound Steamed Maine Lobster (in a puff pastry basket with vegetable ribbons, Madeira butter and a vanilla lobster sauce). Need we say more? Price range: High, yes itâ€™s up there, but hey, what do you expect, itâ€™s not called â€œEddyâ€™s,â€ itâ€™s called Geoffreyâ€™s.Gladstoneâ€™s, 17300 W. Pacific Coast Hwy. Pacific Palisades (310.454.3474).No sample list of this type would be complete without a mention of this institution. With what must be one of the largest al fresco patios by the ocean anywhere, Gladstoneâ€™s certainly is perfect for fish, and also for viewing the occasional seal (both animal and human) flopping around aimlessly on the beach. Huge portions, and equally grand views, make this a tempting proposition. Price range: Medium-high (ish) It may leave you fishing for a few extra bucks, or it may not, but, youâ€™ll be glad (stoneâ€™s) that you did!So, there we have it, a small cross section of just a few of the many fresh-air feast fests available to us lucky Westsiders, where, this summer, we can enjoy a great dining experience under the sun, the moon, and stars.
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Santa Monica and Westside residents walked throughout the city's neighborhoods, parks and trails, waving flags and sporting purple outfits to...Read more