Friday, July 18, 2014

A Walking Tour of Santa Monica: The Misfit, Del Frisco's Grille, and The Lobster

by guest blogger Bryan Tsunoda @btsunoda

I’ve participated on walking food tours in cities like Milwaukee and St. Louis and recently had an opportunity to do a local walking tour in downtown Santa Monica. One recent evening, I had an opportunity to visit The Misfit Restaurant and Bar, Del Frisco’s Grille and The Lobster.

The first stop was The Misfit Restaurant and Bar. It resides in the uber cool Clock Tower on the 200 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. It was built in the 1920’s in the Art Déco style and is the third tallest building in Santa Monica. 
 The Misfit Restaurant and Bar has a number of specialty cocktails. We were first introduced to “Good Night Emily”: Fords Gin, grapefruit, mint and Peychaud’s bitters. If you like grapefruit, it’s the perfect cocktail for a warm summer day.
A colorful kale salad was brought out.
It was comprised of shredded kale, quinoa, sunflower seeds, red grapes, preserved lemon and manchego parmesan with a champagne vinaigrette. The red grapes brought color to the dish and I particularly enjoyed the combination of sunflower seeds with the tasty champagne vinaigrette. This is a great salad to enjoy for lunch.
Fresh grilled fruit is appearing on more menus these days. I sampled their grilled peaches dish with burrata, speck, baby arugula. As the saying goes, “everything is better with bacon” and the peppery nature of arugula worked well with the burrata and the grilled peaches. DSCF2924
Crispy chicken sandwich - this is not your average chicken sandwich. The sandwich is comprised of jidori chicken breast, fennel-apple slaw, spicy mayo wrapped around a fresh brioche bun. The Misfit uses a cast iron grill which creates an ultra crisp exterior for the jidori chicken.
The Quantum Leap is made with Buffalo Trace bourbon cooked with cherries and raisins. Cherry vanilla shrub and lemon twist are added to finish off the drink. Unlike straight bourbon, this specialty drink had a lot of fruit forward flavors. Fortunately, I did not feel a need to do a ‘quantum leap’ back in time.

 Walking down Ocean Avenue, my next stop was at Del Frisco’s Grille.
While they have signature steaks and fresh seafood, Del Frisco’s also offers salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and burgers. They also offer an unobstructed view of the Santa Monica pier. Of course I had to try Del Frisco’s Signature VIP cocktail, after all, doesn’t everyone want to feel like a VIP? I learned that they take ripened pineapple, strain it through cheesecloth and allow it to ferment for 2 ½ weeks. After that they infuse the pineapple liquid with Svedka Clementine Vodka. I hate to admit this, but I ended up having two servings because it was so delicious.
Mussels with toasted pita, shallots and white wine was a delicious offering. Del Frisco’s sources their mussels from Prince Edward Island and they are of very good quality. The sauce was so fantastic, I sopped it up using the available bread.
Also served was the cheesesteak eggrolls with a sweet and spicy chili sauce.
Del Frisco’s ahi tacos is served in sashimi style slipped inside a deep fried won ton taco shell with sliced avocado.

The last stop for the evening was at The Lobster on the Santa Monica Pier.
Nestled at the base of the Santa Monica pier, The Lobster has a breathtaking view. Despite being a weeknight, the restaurant was packed to capacity.
The Lobster offers a unique twist on the popular mojito - a raspberry version. They take their signature mojito and fold in muddled fresh raspberries. DSCF2956
Their American Lobster Salad was comprised of Little Gem organic lettuce, Schaner’s citrus vinaigrette and crispy leeks.

While I don’t comment that often about desserts, I have to say that I really enjoyed their brioche bread pudding.
I think it was the perfect consistency, soft and not chewy and topped with a scotch cashew caramel and sweet cream sauce. It was a great finale to a memorable evening. During that evening, I learned that the Third Street Promenade will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Starting on September 2nd, they will feature a series of events. For more information, see

The Misfit Restaurant and Bar 
225 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 656-9800

Del Frisco’s Grille
1551 Ocean Ave #105
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-7333
Del Frisco's Grille on Urbanspoon

The Lobster 
1602 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 458-9294

Disclaimer: this visit was hosted


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