Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Milo & Olive and Seed Bistro: two Wilshire newcomers on the Westside (Updated with Pizza)

Taking a break from the Asia trip recaps, a quick iPhone report on two relatively new openings on Wilshire: Milo & Olive in Santa Monica and Seed Bistro in West LA.
Milo and Olive is run by the team behind Huckleberry, Rustic Canyon, and Sweet Rose Creamery, Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, who I believe are native Crossroads graduates. I'm a big fan and frequent customer of Huckleberry and Sweet Rose Creamery. I haven't been to Rustic Canyon in awhile, mostly because I didn't love it the few times that I had dinner there. I was in a breakfast mood when I went to Milo and Olive, but was disappointed to find that they stopped serving breakfast at 11:00am. I ended up getting three pastries to go: two ham and cheese croissants and a blueberry crumble. Both were delicious; the croissant was light, flaky and buttery without being too oily, and also substantial enough with some rich savory goodness from the salty ham and sharp gruyere. The blueberry crumble was moist, with just enough crunch and sugar on the topping and plenty of sweet blueberry goodness in the middle. I really want to go back to Milo and Olive for their pizzas, which I have heard great things about, and I will certainly go back. The place is miniscule however; feels smaller than Huckleberry with 2 communal tables of 8 and bar seating for about 8. It was packed when I was there at 11:30am, it must be a nightmare at peak hours. Since we live so close, we'll probably be resorting to takeout.
We went back to Milo & Olive last night to check out the pizza. We got there around 9:30pm and waited about 5 minutes, the place is still packed even at later than usual dinner hours. We ordered the crispy pepperoni pizza with tomato and mozzarella and the pork belly sausage pizza with braised greens, tomato and mozzarella. I liked both pizzas, probably preferring the salty, crispy pepperoni which reminded me of bacon; Milo & Olive has only been open a few weeks so I suspect it should get even better as time goes by.  Cheese and toppings are still relatively limited; I look forward to them putting out more unique pizzas. The crust is very good, super thin in the middle and puffy and pillowy on the crust. It's quite bread-like Sometimes I prefer a bit of a more rustic crust like with Mozza and Gjelina, but this crust is good too. Everything could use just a little more interesting seasoning and flavors, but I think they are definitely on the right track.
I went to Seed Bistro for lunch about a month or two ago. Seed Bistro is a macrobiotic vegan place opened in the old Bimi space by the owners of Seed Kitchen in Venice. I did enjoy my vegan southwest burger, although I wasn't particularly wowed by it and there's lots of vegan / veggie burgers out there that I really like. I think overall it was just a little too healthy tasting for me. I really like vegan / vegetarian food, but I tend to go for the richer tasting kinds. Because the menu is so limited, I'm not sure there's much that I want to go back to try, but it is a good option for a healthy wholesome meal.

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