Monday, May 30, 2011

Munching Around Santa Monica with Six Taste Tours

What better way to explore one area's food than a walking tour with an expert, tasting 4-5 places all in one go? Six Taste Tours, started by two USC alums, aim to do just that with their tours in various regions in LA, including Thai Town, Little Tokyo, Arcadia, and more. Each area's tour is guided by an expert in that particular area/cuisine. I was invited to go on the Santa Monica tour recently with their guide, Therese.

Godmother Sandwich
Godmother sandwich, with on ocean view.
I don't want to spoil all the fun of the tour for you, so I will just go through some of the things we ate and leave you with some surprises if you ever take the tour!

They said they consider the Santa Monica tour to be their international tour, and you will see why. Our first stop was Rockenwagner Bakery.
Rockenwagner Bakery
12835 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 578-8171
Röckenwagner Bakery on Urbanspoon

Our guide, Therese

PhotobucketOther than the baked goods, Therese told us that Rockenwagner has a great Austrian coffee. We tasted some and it was indeed pretty smooth.

Apparently Hans Rockenwagner and his pastry chef invented the pretzel croissant by dipping a croissant in caustic acid, so of course we had to try some! Because of the pretzel-like crust, the croissant doesn't leave as much of a buttery mess on your fingers. 
Pretzel Croissant

We had other goodies here, as well, but I will leave those for you to discover on your own.
Bacon Cheddar Twist
Bacon Cheddar Twist

Our next stop is Tudor House, a British bakery and grocery store with an adjoining tea house.
PhotobucketTudor House
1403 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401-2301
(310) 451-4107

There's no time for an afternoon tea, but we partook in some savory English Pies.

Therese is also pretty knowledgeable about the architecture in the area and gave us some tidbits. The building next to Border Grill was built around the time King Tut's mummy was discovered or something like that (1920's). Anyway, Egypt was all the rage and the architect was evidently enamored by it too. He installed these mummy sculptures at the top of the building, in blue nile color.

Border Grill was one of our "main" stops, whee we sat down and had some chips and handmade salsas and a set of three appetizers. Everyone's favorite was the potato taco.
Potato Taco

Border Grill
1445 4th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 451-1655

We can't be eating all day (actually, we could!) so we have a break over wine at Pourtal.

Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar
104 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-7693

At Pourtal, they handed us a $5 card to select the wine(s) we'd like to try from the enomatic dispensers. I would've liked it better if they had given us a set of tastings and told us about the wines. Pourtal does carry Blue Danube wines (from the regions along the Danube river in Europe), which I really enjoyed at a recent tasting.

A food tour around Santa Monica wouldn't really be complete without a Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities Deli, but the deli is a bit far to walk to and is usually too crowded. To bypass all that, our guide had already bought them earlier and have been walking around with them in a cooler bag. We ate them at a park on Ocean.
Godmother Sandwich
Always extremely satisfying to bite into that crusty bread and everything in between!

Naturally, we have to finish with dessert, so the last stop is Angelato, which carries about 100 flavors of gelato and sorbet each day.
Here you can get three tastes before choosing one scoop.
Blood orange sorbet

That concludes the Santa Monica Tour (with some surprises left for you to discover)! I really enjoyed the tour and visited place I had never been before like The Tudor House. Our guide, Therese, was very charming and knowledgeable as well, adding to our experience.
The tours range from $55-65 depending on which tour you go on and includes the food and drinks, but discounted tickets are also often on Goldstar! Here's the link to the Santa Monica tour going for $39 on Goldstar. They also have their other tours if you're interested in those. I want to check out their Thai Town tour soon myself.



cool! thanks for reporting, I was curious to see what I missed out on that day! :)

I've had that pretzel croissant, pretty amazing right?

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me!

darn sad i didn't go on this looks so fun! rockenwagner is definitley one of my santa monica faves!

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