Our December fling in Santa Monica seems ages ago now, and the thought of bare skin being exposed to sun and sand and fresh salty ocean breezes is a teasing, faded memory - one that seems hardly likely, given the current state of affairs, to ever be repeated.
To cheer myself up and transport myself, if only temporarily and theoretically, out of this frosty and gray city, I'm revisiting days of sunshine and tacos and beachside Ferris Wheels. Won't you join me?
The afternoon we landed was the first rain that parched Southern California had seen in awhile. We took cover at The Misfit just in time for some happy hour cocktails and a dinner that started with avocado and burrata toast and ended with free sea salt-chocolate chip cookies.
The following day we walked along the beach and down the Santa Monica pier, checking out the Ferris Wheel and people playing volleyball on the sand and a seal that was hanging out at the end of the pier, looking to make friends.
From there, we hopped on the Big Blue Bus to get to Westwood and roam around the old campus and oh my word do college students look like babies now.
We met up with some of my college friends for dinner at True Food Kitchen, with its abundance of seasonal, local produce. I didn't know it was possible to get this excited about crudite, but the it really was outstanding.
The next morning we had breakfast at Demitasse. I had a rosewater pistachio almond milk latte that was unlike any coffee beverage I've ever encountered before (and there have been many!) and a buttery kouign-amman that was not too sweet but then had a sugary syrupy crust on it and some unique flavor combination that I'm blanking on now, and I was perfectly happy with everything.
And because no trip to LA is complete without tacos, for lunch we ventured to Tacos Puntas Cabras, which lataco.com says is the best taco in Santa Monica, and they may be right (I'm getting hungry all over again thinking about it).
Dinner was at The Upper West with my sister, her husband and some friends, and I don't have pictures but I think we ate one of everything and it was all extraordinary, and the coffee-crusted pork tenderloin was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Dinner was followed by many drinks and the valet keeping our friend Jamie's car when they decided to close up and go home for the night before we were done, but I'm going to say that meal was worth it.
A nice run through Palisades Park overlooking the beach, exceptional burritos, and a lovely wedding that got crashed by Maroon Five, and our Santa Monica days were at an end - for now, at least.
Thanks for indulging that trip down recent-memory lane. I feel thawed out already.