Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Blue Plate Taco, Santa Monica

Early last year I was taking a stroll along Ocean Ave in Santa Monica looking for somewhere to eat, when the word "taco" caught my eye. I had found Blue Plate Taco. Now it is tradition to return every time I am in LA to enjoy a cocktail and their delicious food.
This time I dragged along my partner, a harsh critic of Mexican food. While we waited for an outside table we sat at the bar, perusing the drinks menu. I cannot go past the passionfruit margarita, blended, with a chunk of dried ginger on top.

Then while we perused the food menu, we munched on a plate of corn chips with freshly made guacamole and salsa. Every table around us had exactly the same idea. A tip from me; get the full serve. Half will only lead to regret.

 Chips and Guac
Having previously had both the chicken and pork belly tacos I decided it was time for a change; on the specials menu was the yummy sounding blackened salmon tacos topped with a fresh salsa. My partner was equally enticed by the special beef short rib tacos. All tacos are served with a side of rice and beans. We certainly weren't disappointed.

Salmon Tacos

Short Rib Tacos

After a leisurely lunch in the sunshine, it was time to move on. But we will be back. And if you find yourself in the area, you can't go wrong with Blue Plate.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Boudin Bistro, San Francisco

When I travel, I look for interesting places to eat. Sometimes it's somewhere fancy and expensive, other times it's cheap and cheerful. It might be well known, or some funky little place I've heard whispers of.

Boudin Bistro isn't super cheap, nor is it super expensive. It's certainly not a secret, having occupied the San Francisco waterfront for quite some time, and having produced its famous sourdough bread since 1849.

We arrived at the restaurant (upstairs, it's cheap and cheerful downstairs) and were immediately taken to our table. Unfortunately not directly by the window, but still in view of the bay and Alcatraz.

Photo courtesy of Boudin

The menu is simple, and highly focused around local (and ethical) seafood, and their signature dish is the clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl. I elected to munch on the complimentary bread while my other half enjoyed a plate of oysters. They usually have several varieties available and will mix and match to order.

For mains we both ordered the tacos; a sourdough tortilla with either crab, shrimp or cod. We got a combination of the crab and cod. Although small, the dish is surprisingly filling.

I'm of the belief that one should always save room for dessert, and this was no exception. My other half is a true American and loves his apple pie, so there was no contest. This pie is fully encased in a sourdough crust, and served with cinnamon ice-cream and a caramel sauce. We demolished it in minutes.

After that effort we decided we'd better walk back to our hotel...