Kamala Harris in a store
The Vice President came to town this week Credit: Alfalfa

Vice President Kamala Harris paid a visit to the popular Alfalfa salad restaurant on Main Street this week as part of a mission to highlight how small businesses have fared under the so-called “Bidenomics” program.

The restaurant has its origins on the Hudson River, in Hoboken, New Jersey. From there the team expanded to another site close by, in downtown Jersey City. Then came the Santa Monica outlet at 2309 Main St and as Andrew Arrospide, co-founder, enthusiastically explains, they’re about to open a fourth to be located in the Larchmont neighborhood of Los Angeles. 

“We’re super thankful that things have been going really well and without the success of the Santa Monica restaurant, we wouldn’t have been able to expand further here, on the west coast,” Arrospide says.

Officials from the White House reached out to the restaurant on July 4 and of course most of the team were enjoying festivities and were late to respond. But as Arrospide explains, everything was done to make the visit run as smoothly as possible. 

“We were blown away that she [Harris] knew all of our names, she knew everything about our story and even everything that’s on the menu,” says Arrospide, adding, “We were all just really stunned by her overall presence and demeanor … I was planning on explaining everything to her, but I didn’t need to.”

White House Small Business Administration head Isabella Casillas Guzman and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) joined Harris as they sought to draw attention to the Community Advantage Program, an Obama-era lending initiative aimed at helping entrepreneurs struggling to secure capital for their businesses.

The Main Street site offers an amazing outdoor dining area at the rear and according to Arrospide, many of the customers eating weren’t aware of the Vice President’s visit. 

“The moment when she actually walked into our back patio space was pretty special and the people having lunch there had no idea she was coming,” Arrospide laughs. “Honestly, it was just really funny watching people’s reactions, their jaws were literally on the floor. And, she said ‘hi’ to everyone and was just so charming and gracious.” 


Scott fell in love with Santa Monica when he was much younger and now, after living and working in five different countries, he has returned. He's written for the likes of the FT, NBC, the BBC and CNN.