Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area

Another hurrah for Surfas Cafe - long

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Another hurrah for Surfas Cafe - long

Sasha | Feb 1, 2006 06:43 PM

I went today for lunch after long last, and had one of the better, more innovative sandwiches I've had in a while. The place is small, with a couple tables outside affronting the parking lot. It had a couple customers only at approx 1130, but there was a constant flow in and out.

The menu is quite small, offering 3 salads, maybe 6 sandwiches, and a couple of other things, like filet mignon chili soup and mac and cheese. But what's nice is that I had a hard time choosing, rather than feeling like there was nothing I wanted.

I got the smoked beef sandwich, which came on fresh bread hinted with rosemary, caramelized red onions, blue cheese mayo, and dijon. The sandwiches are in a case, but after ordering, the staff puts them in a sandwich press so they come out hot, compacted flavors, and oo-ey gooey cheese and dressings. Sandwich was great. The beef was different than any I'd had. It had almost a pastrami or bacon-y quality to it, very smoky and earthy. The onions were soft and sweet, the mayo sinfully rich and loaded with cheese, and the bread subtly herbaceous without being overpowering. Yummy! The sandwich came with a little container of pickles and one of marinated olives.

My mom, who accompanied me, got the winter salad, which consisted of greens, figs, caramelized leeks, candied pecans, maytag blue, and CHOCOLATE balsamic vinagrette. The dressing was very innovative, and I definately detected a choco taste when she gave me a bite. Also very good. Both sandwich and salad were approx $8 each.

We split the much discussed lemon lavender bar, and I liked it, but at the same time felt like I was eating something from the body shop, or like when you lick your lips after putting on a flavored chapstick - it tasted kind of like food, but kind of like something you ought to use for a facial! The texture was a little smooshy for me - the dough and the curd were of one texture basically, which was odd.

The dessert cases were a bit sparse in my opinion, featuring a few types of cookie, the lemon bar, maybe 3 mini cakes, and that's about it. But maybe they are still getting up and running.

I also liked their drinks on hand. They are trying to emulate the new trend in chocolates by putting herbs in their drinks, so they have italian sodas such as strawberry basil, raspberry lavender, and lemon thyme ginger. Certainly will wake your taste buds. They also have bottled sodas called GUS - grown up soda - cute huh? (haven't seen these elsewhere) that are basically little fruit juice, lots of seltzer, for a less sweet drink. Very refreshing.

Altogether, a positive experience and looking forward to returning for the rest of the menu! Especially when you can go browse surfas after lunch!!

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