Cafe Bolivar

I stumbled across this place when i was idly surfing yelp – and i’ve been nothing but impressed since then. If you’ve never had arepas, this is the place to be. Hidden in the heart of Santa Monica behind a drab exterior, its a gallery/coffee shop/brazilian restaurant all rolled into one.

Image stolen ruthlessly from yelp.com

I’ve tasted their brazilian mocha, as well as both the domino and pacifico arepas (pictured below) – all were nearly perfect. The pacifico, in true California form, has thin slices of mango, avocado, and gruyere cheese, leading to a generally epic flavor profile. Friends of mine who enjoy flesh have spoken favorably of every other type of arepa on their menu – shit, even their house salad rocks.

Arepa's at Cafe Bolivar. I had mango and avocado, with gruyere...wonderful!

Just today I went and tried out the Vegan Torta – a different variety of sandwich, using only what I can qualify as french bread – and it was fantastic. Another family friend gave the Chicken Caesar sandwich w/soup dujour a shot…but with only lukewarm reviews.

I’d stick to the vegan/vegetarian options here. They don’t seem to treat their meat well, but I’d say thats a good thing!

Chicken Caesar on the left (eclipsed by the massive man paw), Vegan Torta on the right.

Take some time – when its bright and sunny, and the breeze blows just so that the faintest hint of ocean air hits you – and sit outside. Order a variety of arepas and coffee and wait, since the servers bring your food to you without expectation of compensation (though I suggest you tip, they aren’t the fastest kitchen i’ve encountered…so don’t come on a tight time schedule)

Maybe plan the rest of the day while you enjoy your slightly spicy house salad, and enjoy the eye candy as the beach babes exit their expensive Santa Monica properties, their hemp shoulder bags slung ever so casually across perfectly tanned shoulders-

take my word for it. You need the break, and Cafe Bolivar is a great place to take it.

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Kabob N’Roll Truck

Kabob N Roll Mediterranean

I oversee most of the food ordering at Treyarch, where I’m an Associate Producer – and as such we seeĀ  lot of food come through. And not much of it stands up to catering portions, so of late I have pursued this new phenomenon of food trucks – and Kabob N’Roll is my current favorite. Absolutely wonderful stuff – Y.L., the head chef and proprietor, has recently acquired a new truck which enables them to service large groups quickly and efficiently.

We were feeding approximately 140 hungry video game developers – and these guys churned it out in an hour, for less than 1000 bucks!

If you are in the mood, try the veggie pita sandwich – well worth your time. The tzatziki sauce is out of this world; savory, fresh, creamy…everything you would desire in a proper tzatziki.

Chicken Breast Pita Sandwich

They even have vegan options!

Average price for a meal ranges between 5-7 bucks. Check ’em out here, or follow them on twitter here.

I’ll grab some more pics the next time we have them stop by.