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Weekend report: Eats in Santa Monica (long)

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Weekend report: Eats in Santa Monica (long)

Clare K. | Sep 7, 2004 01:39 PM

Though I live in Silverlake, I decided to "get away" for the weekend and stay at a beach hotel in Santa Monica. I hardly ever go to the westside on the weekends (I work there so I commute enough already!), so many of the restaurants I went to were a "first" for me.

We stayed at the Georgian Hotel (fabulous!!), but this isn't a hotel bulletin board so I'll get on with it :)

For dinner, we went to Voda, a vodka bar that also offers food. The atmosphere is quite dark but very nice: dark woods, minimal plants, comfortable leather booths. I ordered a Midori martini and my friend had a Passion martini - both fruity and not-too-sweet and very good. For dinner we split the shrimp and pesto pizza, the tuna tartar and the heirloom tomato/mozorella/breadcubes salad. The pizza was good, chewy crust, not too much cheese and one large shrimp per slice (the pizza was small so this actually was plenty of shrimp). The pesto wasn't overpowering at all, it just added a nice kick to the rest of the milder flavors.

The tomato salad was also good, though they drizzled a balsamic reduction around the plate instead of on the salad itself so it left us wanting more balsamic. However, the tomatoes were fresh and the mozarella was fantastic. The best thing about the whole meal, however, was the tuna tartar. Now I know what you're thinking: every other restaurant offers this dish nowadays. But Voda does it perfectly: molded together with just the right amount of avocado and seasame oil, and served with toast points (yes, toast points, not wontons). The portion was very good sized, and the fish was very fresh and the toast points were perfectly toasted.

The topper was another martini: the Key Lime. Probably the best martini I've ever had. Fresh, tart and delicious!

The next morning we went to Jinky's cafe for breakfast. Ordered the southwestern scramble (eggs, chrizo, onions, cheese) served with corn tortillas and a side of pea guacamole. The latter was nice and spicy, the perfect accompaniment to the dish. We asked the waitress how to make it and she said a bag of thawed sweet peas from Trader Joe's, cilantro, and any pre-made guac spice mix (they use fresh spices but she didn't know what they were). She makes it at home all the time and loves it; it's a lot less fat than the avo kind and very tasty. However, make it and eat it the same day, otherwise it will separate.
The breakfast was fantastic and well-priced; $22 for two with coffee and juice.

After spending the day shopping in the blistering sun, we stopped by the Broadway Deli for supper. I had the ostrich burger with fries, my friend had the tuna melt with a side salad. The burger was perfect: juicy but not greasy at all, and the fries were crispy and also not greasy. My friend's tuna melt left a lot to be desired, however. Too much mayo in the tuna mix, and too much grease on the bread. The side salad was nothing but iceburg and some tomatoes.

Well, that wraps it up - in a nutshell, I would highly recommend Voda for both food and drinks; Jinky's for breakfast, and Broadway Deli for the ostrich burger!

Voda
1449 2nd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401-2301
Phone: (310) 394-9774

Jinky's Cafe
1447 2nd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 917-3311

Broadway Deli
1457 Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 451-0616

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