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California Dreamin’

The courtyard at the Mission

To continue celebrating a certain milestone birthday (this time on the actual day), Warren and I headed to California for a terrific-but-too-quick trip to Santa Barbara and L.A. In Santa Barbara, we stayed at our friend Doug’s tranquil guest house, strolled along the beach, made the obligatory tourist stops at the Mission and the courthouse, and ate and drank mightily. California is all about fresh, local food and The Hungry Cat’s Santa Barbara outpost offered plenty of it – divine seafood (Warren gobbled up the sea urchin, I had the halibut, Doug the sea bass) and amazing accompaniments, all prepared with a creative hand. We loved Opal for lunch (try the lemon grass-crusted salmon), and Jeannine’s for breakfast, and were delighted to meet the owner, Eleanor Hardy, a schoolteacher-turned-restaurateur who’d taught Doug’s children.

Heading south, we drove to Santa Monica where we splurged on two nights at the romantic, stylishly-beachy Shutters. After a quick run to Venice, we met up with my sis and headed to Rustic Canyon for an exquisite b-day meal of sweet corn agnolotti, farro and beets, figs and burrata, squash blossoms, artichokes, yellowtail, trout, a Niman Ranch burger … between the three of us, I think we managed to consume 80% of the menu. The next day, we cruised around on rented bikes and popped in for lunch at BP Oysterette, where we ate oysters, fish tacos, and lobster rolls and saw Reese Witherspoon and her new boyfriend doing the same (always good to have at least one celeb spotting in L.A.!). For our last California meal I wanted something very Hollywood, so we hit the Chateau Marmont, where the food was good and the setting spectacular. In my next life (or perhaps my next decade?), I think I might need to do some California livin’!

BP Oysterette

Oysters!

2 Responses to “California Dreamin’”

  1. by oilsters on

    Question: Is BP Oysterette considering a name change? Not sure they stand to garner any new clientele with those two letters these days. Ha!!! Thanks for the Cali foodie rec’s. Much obliged.

  2. by Jenny on

    Good point! The BP sign doesn’t like quite so cute and friendly anymore, does it?

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