Locally sourced food comes to Main Street
By Toi Creel
A new restaurant has opened in Santa Monica on Main Street.
Papille Gustative ( Taste Buds in Latin) serves up artisan food with locally sourced ingredients and is a zero-waste eatery.
“It is our vision of serving what we and our children love to eat,” said owner Calin Senciac.
He wanted to find a restaurant that served good, locally sourced food as well as coffee and teas.
He chose Santa Monica because he felt it was “more cosmopolitan than other parts of LA” and he wanted to educate the community.
“Marina, my partner, is a certified nutritionist. We are both so happy when people leave with a different approach about food and ingredients.”
So what exactly is a zero-waste facility? That means the restaurant does not produce any trash.
“We put everything in buckets and we bring everything every second day to our self built compost facility in Vernon CAW, so we will have our fertilizer for when we will start planting a few months from now.”
In addition to the food, all the “ to go” items are compostable including: cups, utensils, to-go boxes, bags, straws and even trash bags. The company says they pay extra for the biodegradable items, but to them it is worth it.
The restaurant says they also keep things small and source from local farmer’s markets to stock their kitchens. And if the challenge to stay environmentally friendly isn’t enough, they’re also adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As much as we can, [we have] disinfectant bottles everywhere for everyone.”
Senciac says staff is constantly wiping surfaces, wearing masks, face shields, and gloves. They also practice social distancing and separation.
It’s a lot to run a restaurant, let alone one that has a safe and responsible environmental footprint, but Papille Gustative says they’re not just in it for the money.
“We do this because it is our passion,” said Senciac, who alongside his partner had been planning for the restaurant for three years.
”We know it will turn out to be a profitable venture, eventually… But we have a different goal. Seeing people’s lives get changed by things as simple as what they eat,” Senciac said. “It feels like healing for us.”