What's not to like?
We like to eat well. We like to save a bit of money. We like to stay healthy (at least for the first part of 2014 until we give up on our New Year's Resolutions). So, welcome to Santa Monica, one of 30 destinations in CA that is participating in the elegantly titled "Eat Well Week", as part of California Restaurant Month. The basic idea is to combine healthy ingredients with innovative preparation at top restaurants willing to offer discounted fixed price meals for the week.
In Los Angeles, you might be familiar with ''Dine LA". Same kind of concept only with more of an emphasis on the healthy part of things. It is, after all, Santa Monica, where they don't sell women's clothes in sizes larger than 2 and men are required to own mountain bikes and Speedos.
I had the pleasure of watching the chef prepare a vegan linguini dish at the Ocean and Vine restaurant in the Loews Santa Monica Beach hotel. It looked very good. Then, he was on to some California sea bass with asparagus and a sauce using yogurt instead of cream. The salad has butternut squash, candied pecans, you get the idea... all local ingredients from the Farmer's Market here. (By the way, the ''vine'' in Ocean and Vine isn't a street, as in ''Hollywood and Vine'', rather it refers to ''vine'' as in vineyard... wine... get it). Anyway, everyone here is really into it. An entree and an appetizer is $32.00, not exactly budget dining but you're in a beautiful environment, eating exquisitely-prepared unusual food.