It’s pretty rare, but sometimes it’s good to break free of Mexican fast-food and slow, yet still greasy Mexican food. To make this jump, I went to the Border Grill in Santa Monica and attempted to class-up my Mexican repertoire.
They actually had a surprisingly welcome selection of unvegan options and I was torn between a few of the dishes. The steep prices may have ended up playing a role in my final selection, which was still pretty pricey at $15. This was one of their specials, the Chicken Adobo Quesadilla. Adobo is a great seasoning, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. It came with manchego, panela and cotija cheeses inside, and mizuna salad, salsa fresca, guacamole and sour cream on the outside. I ordered mine without the mizuna salad and although I’m not entirely sure what “mizuna” means, I know it involved vegetables I didn’t want to eat.
My friend told me about a relatively new “pizza” place called Riva in Santa Monica. I put pizza in quotes because in my mind a pizza place is like a parlor. This, however, was no parlor. Rather it was a posh and fancy restaurant that happened to have pizza as its specialty.
We took the bar-style seats that had a perfect view of the preparation area and the wood-burning oven. While sitting there, it was really unnecessary to look at the menu, because we could decide what we wanted based on what we saw in front of us.
In this case, I took a slight deviation from my usual unvegan pizzas. Instead of getting the meaty offering, I got the Patate Semplice, which is just a fancy Italian way of saying potato, rosemary, fontina and sea salt pizza.
In the meantime, I enjoyed the appetizer of Wood Fired Pizza Bread. With olive oil, it tasted pretty good, but almost seemed silly to order a partial pizza as I was waiting for a real pizza. Nonetheless, the wait was quite short, as I watched my pizza go in the oven mere moments before it was pulled out fully cooked.
Bar Pintxo. How the hell do you pronounce this place? It’s not an easy thing to do. If only the x moved back one letter to be before the t, things would be much easier. Alas, that is the restaurant I went to for some tapas.
Ordering at this tapas bar was kind of a double-edged sword for an unvegan. On one hand, I could take a look at all food available and decide what to order based on which tapas didn’t have vegetables. On the other hand, all the tapas were prepared ahead of time and I couldn’t order without the veggies.
Before, ordering, however, we had to get ourselves some libations.
This sandwich is packed with five different meats, all of which coexist in a meaty harmony wirth one another. These glorious meats are Genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham and prosciutto. To maintain the copacetic existence of these meats, a couple of slices of provolone are also thrown in. All sandwiches at Bay Cities can be ordered with the works, an uncomfortable array of vegetables and condiments that would only serve to distract me from my meaty enjoyment, so instead, I like to get a dash of olive oil on my Godmother so my mouth doesn’t dry out.
The result, when sandwiched between two halves of an Italian roll, is nothing short of beautiful.
Conveniently placed in the Third Street Promenade, I decided to give Broadway Deli a try. For a deli, they didn’t have too huge of a variety of interesting sandwiches, and most of the menu items would have required me to remove vegetables. One item, however, caught my eye. This was the Fresh Ground Ostrich Burger. Always intrigued by new and strange meats, I thought this would be a good idea. I made sure to order without the lettuce, tomato and red onions, and to throw on some cheddar cheese for good measure. When the burger arrived, I noticed that Broadway Deli had committed the highest of unvegan treason. A pickle on my plate!