There has been quite a boom in new Santa Monica eateries, presenting a tracking challenge for even the most assiduous of foodies. Fortunately, the Daily Press has compiled a round up of all the new culinary hotspots. This is part two, to see part one: Southeast Asian street food, churros and mocktails, consult the Nov. 2 issue.
Pink Daisy Cafe
Hardcore Blue Daisy fans who have grown tired of the long lines plaguing the cafe during brunch, will be pleased to hear they have a new place to get their waffle fix. Pink Daisy is billed as the little sister to Blue Daisy and serves a range of coffee, boba, waffles, pastries and snacks.
There is a distinct emphasis on cuteness in the new space, which is unsurprisingly decorated almost exclusively in pink. The cone shaped bubble waffles are designed to be filled with a variety of scrumptious additions including nutella, icecream, fruit and whipped cream. Boba is a staple on the menu and offered in matcha, milk tea and creamy espresso flavors. There are also a range of sandwiches for those craving something more savory and superfood lattes for the health conscious.
Pink Daisy Cafe is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. everyday at 321 Santa Monica Blvd.
The newly renovated Viceroy Hotel features a brand new restaurant that pairs perfectly with poolside lounging. Sugar Palm is an indoor-outdoor restaurant centered around California coastal cuisine. Seating options include an indoor dining room, outdoor patio, wraparound bar, poolside lounge seating and a dining cabana. The menu is designed by Chef Jason Francisco and is focused on fresh seafood sourced mostly from Fish King in Glendale.
Highlights include Peruvian scallops done ceviche style, charred Spanish octopus, Jidori roasted chicken and hanger steak. The restaurant might also win earliest opening time in Santa Monica with its aptly titled Sunrise Menu serving dishes such as duck confit chilaquiles from 6:30 a.m. onwards. The restaurant also features a custom cocktail menu with creations such as the SaMo Sunset, which is meant to be reminiscent of the local coastal sky at nightfall and includes rye whiskey, pomegranate liquor, cherry liqueur and bitters.
Sugar Palm is open daily for brunch from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 3 to 10 p.m. It is located inside the Viceroy Santa Monica at 1819 Ocean Ave.
Yagul Café features Santa Monica’s first Oaxacan coffee bar alongside a range of traditional Mexican comfort foods in a cosy neighborhood centric setting.
Chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos are some of the staple breakfast items, while lunch offerings include tortas, tacos, tamales, memelitas and chiles rellenos. Those with adventurous appetites should check out the chapulines — an Oaxacan specialty of toasted grasshoppers sautéed in lime garlic butter and served with rice, beans and handmade corn tortillas.
Yagul Café also has a comprehensive drink menu featuring a Oaxacan mocha, Oaxacan hot chocolate, a range of coffees, horchata and agua frescas. The juice bar has a series of fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable blends, while the smoothie menu has a range of dairy free and sugar free blends.
Yagul Café is open at 530 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 107 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Rebrand: Sushi Roku
While this 20 year old restaurant is certainly not new, the completely redone interior and reimaged Omakase menu would certainly fool the idle passerby. The dining room has new open air windows allowing the coastal breeze to drift in from Ocean Ave, while the renovated patio offers an al fresco oceanside option.
Although the sushi restaurant is longstanding it is certainly not traditional. The menu blends Japanese tradition with Latin American and European ingredients. Dishes are designed with an artful flair and feature accents like edible florals and shaved black truffles. Sushi lovers will not be let down by the range of nigiri, sashimi and rolls, while those looking for something different can check out any of the charcoal cooked entrees such as the grilled salmon with wasabi yuzu creme fraiche.
Sushi Roku is open at 1401 Ocean Ave from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.