Mi, you'd have been proud of me!

Trip Start Sep 11, 2009
Trip End Oct 21, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We had a slow start this morning, after a long night. It continued raining this morning, so I called Andy's owner and told him that there was no way we were going to drive Andy in this weather, so he should come to us. He was very nice and apologetic and managed to sort out a ride and was here just about lunch time.

We returned Andy without much of a hassle, but of course.... the wipers seemed to be working fine as they drove off! Nevertheless, he agreed that we'd be refunded and that no additional charges would be added on.

The rest of the day was a wash-out with this never-ending rain, so we just spent the day shopping on 3rd Street. But of course, not before having a good lunch (incl. breakfast). We didn't have many "planned" restaurants in Santa Monica, but we got lucky just walking into Bangkok West Thai. It was a good sign from the beginning, as our server was Thai and did not speak very good English! We had a Tomyam Soup, a glass noodle salad, a spicy fried rice and a pad thai. They were all FANTASTIC, easily rivaling my favourite Thai restaurants in Zurich and London! The portions were of course massive, and I think we will be having the same for lunch tomorrow!

Shopping on 3rd Street is pretty nice, as it is quite compact and everything is there. Quite "easy" to shop! Unfortunately, the weather didn't make it very conducive for shopping :(

Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun started breaking through about 5.30pm. We swiftly got dressed and headed out to the beach and to the pier. It was an "interesting" atmosphere.... the strong waves and heavy fog created quite an eerie atmosphere. It is definitely very different than the standard Santa Monica Pier atmosphere.

We had dinner at The Lobster restaurant, which is just at the Pier. Doesn't the name of the restaurant already sound delicious!?!?!!?! It is a very popular restaurant, as it offers a 180 degree view!!! Well... it was dark and foggy, so the view was really not the focus this evening!!! The restaurant is actually TINY!!! But they did a great job, making it look alot larger than it really is, with very clever use of mirrors.

The down-low to the food... Azrael had a Dungeness Crab and Arugula Salad to start, followed by pan-fried Alaskan halibut with basil mash. I had a Crab Cake and a 1.5lbs American Steamed Lobster with asparagus and roast potatoes. Both starters were FAB, although mine felt as though there were two separate dishes, one being the Thai calamari salad, and the other being the crab cake.with lemon-ginger black-bean sauce. Azrael's halibut was very well cooked and went very well with the basil mash. However, it paled in comparison with my lobster.

My 1.5lbs lobster was a big ol' meanie, but I tackled the life out of it and wrangled every last piece of edible meat out of it. Mi, you should have seen me.... I made myself a feast out of the legs and the body!! I think our server was rather impressed with me!!! He came by, as I was in the middle of it all and said "you're doing a good job with that lobster!". The most "interesting" was the table near us, where a rather large man had ordered a 2lb lobster. He came after us, and finished before me!!! What!?!??!?! OK... he clearly did not clean out the lobster the way I did!

As our server was so impressed, I had to ask him if he had seen any other guests clean out their lobster better than me!!! To my dismay, it is apparently quite common for the East Coast guests to tackle the lobsters the way I do. OKlah.... they live near Maine... the home of lobsters!!! Fair enough.... I'll let them have this prize!!!

For dessert, we had......*drum roll*..... Ventura Limoncello!!!! I am so impressed and still in disbelief that they are able to make their own Limoncello in South California! Not just that... but the Ventura Limoncello is REALLY good.... easily rivaling that of Positano!!! I find it quite scary that it is easier to get Limoncello in restaurants in SoCal than in Zurich (neighbouring Italy)!!! How WEIRD!!!

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James Carling on

Thank you for your wonderful comment about Ventura Limoncello. Manuela and I are very pleased you enjoyed it. We hope your trip to California was fantastic and you'll come back soon. Look us up if you do.
Owner - Ventura Limoncello

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