There’s a two to three block span on Wilshire Blvd. from 23rd to 25th street that will afford you some great morning time fare. Show up at 10 a.m. on a Saturday and you will see the ‘breakfast corridor’ will be slammed. Lines of people at NY Bagel, Blue Daisy Cafe, Bread and Porridge, Snug Harbor, to Bru’s Whiffle spill out onto the sidewalk. There’s a Jack in the Box too if you are really desperate. Aside from Milo and Olive (which is a couple blocks east of the strip) Blue Daisy had always been my favorite of the sit-downs. It was also the smallest and subsequently most crowded too. But that is all a thing of the past.
From mid-town to downtown Blue Daisy reopened on Broadway and 6th street (home of the old Planet Raw) to some more accommodating digs. The dining room’s modern design, down to salt rock candles on each table, make the old Daisy seem rather drab in comparison. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating is a much-needed upgrade from its previously cramped quarters.
Amidst all the upgrades Blue Daisy has retained what has made the restaurant so popular in the first place, the food. Crepe’s (one of their mainstays) come in a variety of sweet and savory flavors and are just as good in the new place as I recall them being at the old. While pancakes and omelets are an option, Blue Daisy has a listing of unique breakfast dishes that should be explored including Baked Egg Ratatouille, Croissant French Toast, and Rice Porridge. The Salmon Cake Scandia (croissant with cream cheese topped with salmon cakes, poached eggs, and dill hollandaise sauce) is one of the best breakfast indulgences in Santa Monica and beyond.
Lunch offerings are limited to some sandwiches, mini burgers and salads. The Kale salad, which advertises organic kale, chicken, bacon, hazelnut, goat cheese, raisins, walnuts, chives, apples and a champagne vinegar and walnut, is satisfying in both flavor and enormity.
The biggest edition to the menu is dinner. And since the rent is probably two to three times greater than the last location, staying open later makes perfect sense.
All cocktails are made with rice infused vodka so it’s either a placebo martini or a small selection of wine and beer.
Aside from the salads, the dinner boasts rich offerings including, lamb stew, pastas in cream sauce, and beef stroganoff. Fitting to the Blue Daisy, there are a couple of dinner crepes. One has creamy mushroom and chicken while another has Beef Stroganoff. The non-creped Beef Stroganoff is a departure from the norm. The familiar bed of egg noodles makes way for shoestring fried potatoes and onions atop tender beef and a reduced pepper medley in a savory but not over-salted sauce. In fact all the sauces from the chicken wings to the to the ricotta gnocchi in a white butter variety made each corresponding dish worthwhile. With so many hearty offerings, it is unfortunate that the wine list is so limited. Perhaps that will change.
Blue Daisy has the breathing room it deserves. While fans of the old spot will enjoy more seating, navigating in and out of the consistently congested downtown area is the trick. Now more than ever is a good time to try out the freshly painted green bike lanes up and down Broadway. They work. Blue Daisy works too, as a viable breakfast, lunch, and now dinner spot. I’d bring wine, corkage is only $10.
609 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA, 90401