Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Bite to Eat

After today's farmer's market, we stopped for lunch at the new Bite Bar and Bakery on Pico in Santa Monica in the old space that Violet used to be in.  I've heard a lot of internet chatter about Bite, particularly about its croissants and reuben sandwich so I decided to check it out.  The space is cheery and bright; a big improvement from the old Violet, with a large bakery bar, blackboard menus and random old kitchen utensils adorning the wall.
They currently serve breakfast and lunch but will be serving a full dinner menu starting at the end of this month.  We started out with Arnold Palmers in mason jars, a cute touch, which was nice and refreshing.
We ordered four sandwiches (photos in the following order): the reuben, the toasted crab sandwich, the pulled pork sandwich and the steak sandwich.
As I mentioned before, I'm a big fan of sandwiches and all the sandwiches were pretty good; my favorite probably was the pulled pork and my least favorite was the steak sandwich.  The pulled pork was fluffy and not too dry nor too overly sauced, and the slaw added nice contrast to the sandwich.  The reuben was also good with nice thick slices of pastrami.  I liked how it wasn't too salty and that there wasn't too much dressing.  I did think the cheese was a little boring though; could have used a sharper, more interesting cheese.  The crab sandwich was also good, although I think it could have used a little acidity; it got a little bland after awhile.  The steak in the steak sandwich, while medium rare, was a little too charred at the edges, which was a bit unpleasant.  Everything tasted good, although at the end it did feel a bit greasy and heavy; probably partially our fault for ordering three heavy meat-centric dishes with very little greens, either in the sandwich or as accompaniments.  Only the crab sandwich came with some greens, a watercress salad.  Prices were a bit high at ~$10+ for each sandwich.  While good, I'm not I had anything that I would go back for, but I may give their breakfast or dinner a shot.  We tried a sample of their lemon bars and espresso bars, both of which were very good; not too sweet, but richly flavored.  We ordered a couple of croissants and scones to go for breakfast. 

After lunch, we hit up Penmar Golf Course in Venice for 9 holes of golf to see how our lessons translated to real life.  Let's put it this way; I managed to lose two of my favorite pink golf balls over an easy and compact 9 hole course (I'm convinced the group in front of us took one and the other got stuck in a tree).  Still much more practice needed...
Bite Bar and Bakery
3221 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA  90405

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