I don’t do all my chomping on the eastside. I sometimes venture out—despite the horrors of the 10 freeway—to enjoy the eats on the westside.
My latest journey was to Bite Bar & Bakery in Santa Monica. It’s on Pico Blvd., which is still such a quaint area compared to the hustle and bustle (i.e. zero parking) of more popular SM eat streets. The décor of the space is very succinct with a chalkboard menu, cookbooks and cooking utensils lining the walls. Cute.
Bite’s menu is seasonal and changes daily. When I was there, there were about 8 options, including a pulled-pork sandwich, a zucchini quiche, and a chickpea sandwich on naan (cleverly named a “naan-which”). We ordered the Toasted Crab Sandwich on sourdough with paprika aioli and watercress salad along with the Afterschool Special, a.k.a grilled cheese paired with a cup of cream of asparagus soup.
Both sandwiches were grilled Panini style. The grilled cheese included a tasty cheddar cheese blend, but the bread was a little too greasy for my sensibilities. I blame the oil from the cheese mixing with the oil (or butter) used to grease the Panini press. Still, though a little overwhelming, this sandwich fell on the side of delicious decadence.
The soup was for sure the high point. The not-too-heavy cream complimented the nice pureed texture of the asparagus. And you know, you can’t go wrong with truffle oil, which they were kind enough to drizzle on the soup.
The richness of the buttered bread worked better for the crab sandwich. The crab had a crispy, shredded texture that managed to lend a delicate quality to the overall taste. Definite comfort food. The watercress salad was a nice contrast, but a little difficult to eat with the long stems.
Sadly, we were so stuffed that we didn’t try the desserts, but a trip is planned for that specific purpose since they’re all made fresh, in-house.
This place has tons of potential, and they make a mean Arnold Palmer. It’s already pretty good, and I can’t wait to see it get even better.
Crab sandwich photo by Ela Boyd.