Summer! Sometimes I just love to wander, and after a weird networking event in Santa Monica where a millennial bartender gloated about how she made millions with her online company, I found myself at “La Vecchia Cuccina” in Santa Monica.
You know a restaurant is good when it’s packed with people and only one small bar seat is available in the corner.
I ordered an amazing glass of red wine, and the Prix Fix dinner for restaurant week. First course: the zucchini flowers deep fried and stuffed with mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. Always one of my favorites! Incredibly crispy, and a great dunk with marinara.
When you grow up in Los Angeles with parents from Bari Italy, the San Pedro tide pools are a monthly excursion. Not for the educational value, but a culinary one. My parents would often collect the sea urchins at low tide and either eat their gonads raw with homemade bread or cook them in a pasta dish.
Course #2: Sea Urchin spaghetti: as a true Italian growing up eating sea urchin, I can say this plate of spaghetti was true heaven. Buttery, al dente pasta paired with the tender gonads that melted in my mouth! I savored every bite!
“You like the pasta don’t you?”
My barmate “Bruce” a nice humble gentleman sat next to me at the far corner. He told me he was the sommelier at the Vela Ruis in Palm Springs. One of my favorite restaurants… the bartender Kevin makes a mean Manhatten!
Bruce shared his wine that he had acquired from Sonoma.
Always great to wander. You never know what deliciousness you will eat! And maybe if you are lucky, a sommelier might just share is latest gem of a wine with you!