Taste of Santa Monica
Presented by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce
Written by Barbara Bishop, Mirror columnist and Santa Monica Chamber member.
Being an active member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, I’m at the Chamber’s 6th Street offices quite frequently. And it’s usually for a morning meeting or one around lunchtime. I find I’m always looking for a fast, super close place to walk to, to grab coffee, tea or something that I can bring back to the office — fast.
OK, this is how lazy (or crazy) I am. There’s a Mendocino Farms across the street, and there used to be a bakery and sandwich chain a block down from that. Sorry, too far for me to go. It’s hell crossing Wilshire Boulevard. during those times. Really any time.
I quickly discovered this little locally-owned and operated café on the same side of the street (off of 6th) as the Chamber office, and on the same side of Wilshire Boulevard. No crossing any streets!
SuperFoods Cafe to the rescue! It’s a small casual place, with an outside patio of about six tables and an inside seating area of around 10 tables. Very cozy.
I perused the menu and discovered that everything is made from scratch, most gluten-free, and all organic. Reading further, they were the first restaurant in Santa Monica to offer an all-organic menu, since 1990. They say they are “committed to cultivating body and mind through homemade super foods.”
So what the heck are superfoods? They “hand-select fresh ingredients to serve a clean, organic experience.” (Uh-oh. Anything I ever ate that promised a clean, organic experience tasted like a combination of dirt and mushy grass.)
I was worried. I quickly changed my point of view when I read further into the menu. They have these yummy breakfast bowls. One is an acai Brazilian Bowl, made up of organic almond milk, blueberries, acai, banana, organic raw agave nectar and hemp granola. No dirt or mushy grass to be found here. Another was made up of organic low-fat yogurt, walnuts, chia seeds hemp granola, organic agave nectar and and blueberries.
What about eggs? And bacon? Superfood Café has a large selection of egg dishes, and some include bacon! The turkey bacon frittata, with baby spinach, caramelized onion and cheddar cheese had it all (I might order it without the spinach).
The El Salvadorian Pupusa con Huevos sounded like a cool choice as well, with two eggs over easy, ranchero salsa and avocado on a Salvadorian cheese-stuffed pupusa. In the end, my choice was the Good Karma, consisting of egg whites, pico de gallo, avocado and corn tortillas. Besides being delicious and healthy, I need all the good Karma I can get!
For lunch sandwiches and salads dominate. The tuna salad is a healthier version of any that I’ve seen at other restaurants. It’s made up of water-packed, line-caught tuna with no mayo, served wit baby greens, artichoke hearts, tomato, and balsamic tarragon vinaigrette over a brown rice and quinoa medley. That’s pretty healthy!
My lunch favorite is the turkey burger deluxe. It includes turkey bacon, a seasoned turkey patty, lactose-free imported swiss cheese, tomato, vegan dijonaise, caramelized onions, and lettuce on a toasted whole wheat bun. So yummy. And healthy.
Superfood Café also has salads, organic soups, one-of-a-kind smoothies, homemade, gluten-free bakery items, as well as larger Bowls like the Vegan Bombay Bowl, made up of Indian-spiced seiten, spinach, mushrooms, fresh curry leaves, brown basmati rice, mango chutney vinaigrette salad and whole wheat chapatti. Hmm. Seiten, curry leaves, chapatti. Sounds adventurous. I’ll keep you posted.
Side note: The owner, Gen Harada, goes to the same Naam yoga class as one of my best friends, Dienna. They met there, and now they’re married and have a beautiful baby. I had no idea it was the same person that owned the restaurant. Small, beautiful world.