An L.A. eatery that expats (those who abandoned our fair sunshine-laden city for more eastern opportunities) will miss every day. And we miss it not just for the abundance of outdoor seating in winter months, but also for large-portioned dishes that are so quintessentially casual California.
Each time I'm lucky enough to be back in L.A., I always need to make a stop at Urth, one of my perpetual lunch favorites when I was still living in Santa Monica. There is something about the terra cotta patio, protected by heat lamps in case the weather gets below 60 in the evenings, and the fact that the smell of salt water is just steps away that makes this counter-service cafe absolutely perfect.
The ideal lunch menu always includes an Iced Green Tea Boba, the best in the city, and the Urth Farmer's Salad with locally grown baby spinach, heirloom tomatoes, French radishes, grilled artichokes, red onion, shaved fennel, glazed pecans, and shaved parmesan cheese served with a light, oil-based, peppercorn dressing. The salad also comes with a side of Urth's classic dried fruit and nut bread, which is the stuff of grandma's dreams. When I'm feeling a little less LA and a little less healthy, the Panini Caprese with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, and a pesto and olive spread is a rich, greasy, ideal sandwich. The Tostada with grilled chicken on a bed of black beans and romaine lettuce topped with salsa, guacamole, and Monterey Jack cheese with sour cream on the side is another fresh California classic. The rest of the menu has something for everyone, with an emphasis on fresh, organic ingredients from the best sources.
And after finishing up a hearty California breakfast or lunch, it's time to take that green tea boba down to the beach to make it a perfect meal.