Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brunch @ Bite Bar & Bakery: I'm in love with this place

I've been to Bite Bar & Bakery numerous times, but never for a sit down meal. I've ordered their crab sandwich to go, and I've popped in on many occasions for a post-surf croissant. When I heard about their new bottomless mimosas (currently a special offered daily but may stick if it's popular), I decided to grab some brunch .

Located on Pico Blvd., Bite offers a lot of freshly baked goods and a menu offering dishes using local and fresh ingredients from the Farmer's market.

I decided against the bottomless mimosa because I knew that I wasn't going to have more than 2 glasses this time. Each glass cost only $4 while the bottomless is $9. You do the math. But it's a great deal for another weekend when I usually go through 4-5 glasses.

Their plain croissant never fails. I had them warm it up for me.

As usual, it was flaky, with buttery ribbons inside. I really cannot get enough of these croissants. Thank goodness Bite isn't walking distance from my home. That could be a real problem.

Side of cajun fries
It looked like a rather small portion (we, the obese America, are used to a whole big plate of fries). But I did appreciate the portion control and it was actually quite sufficient for two people. I thought the fries would be starchy because they were a thicker cut, but they were crispy outside, soft and fluffy inside. The cajun was used only sparingly for a tickle of flavor.

Crispy Strawberry French Toast with vanilla crème fraiche and rosemary maple syrup
French toasts are my favorite breakfast food and I loved this one. The crispiness was so unique and it seemed less dense than a traditional French toast. With a fruit compote, fresh strawberries and powdered sugar, you really didn't need the maple syrup or creme fraiche. But I actually like the creme fraiche, it lent a sort of tart flavoring to the dish. I'm not a rosemary fan so I didn't care for the herb on my french toast.

Scrambled Eggs with Applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions and BBQ home fries
When I first looked at this, I thought to myself "what a boring dish". It did look rather plain but to our surprise, the components were all well executed. The bacon looked dull and dry, but it was in fact very crispy, not too greasy but still infused with fatty bacon flavor, and seasoned with the right amount of salt. The eggs were not wet or runny. And the caramelized onions added a sweetness and richness to the dish.

Green Eggs & Ham with honey ham breakfast cups, basil pesto eggs, sour cream, hash and arugula
Such an interesting dish. The ham was wrapped into a cup and sat on top of a crispy bed of hash brown. The poached eggs were topped with pesto.

I just had to get the Espresso salted caramel that dianatakesabite swooned over. I cut it up into tiny pieces so that I could have a little bite of it every day. I was nervous. Would it be too sweet for me? I'm not a caramel fiend. Oh.. but it was good. So good. The caramel was rich and gooey, which firmed up after it went into the fridge. Even tastier! The crust was buttery and crumbly, and the thin layer of dark chocolate left me wanting more.

Aside from my first pain au chocolate that I thought wasn't that great, subsequently everything that I've had at Bite has been really good. Every croissant that I've had since (and I've probably had over 10 in the past few months) has been perfection. The french toast was a winner for me, as was the espresso salted caramel. Bite really has managed to keep me satisfied and willed me to come back for more. And that's exactly what the perfect neighborhood spot does.

Hits: Mimosas, croissants, french toast
Misses: nothing! I love this place
Rating: ***1/2

Bite Bar & Bakery
3221 Pico Blvd.,
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(424) 744-8658


Gastronomer said...

The French toast looks bitchin! I'm a big fan of rosemary, so mmmm boy. And of course, the salted caramel bar is callin' my name. Next time I'm in Santa Monica...

Diana said...

So glad that you finally got your hands on that caramel bar! Isn't it amazing? I think I need to go back for another one like now. Those poached eggs and French toast too!

P.S. I love how you order carbs on carbs on carbs. It's amazing.

Banana Wonder said...

I don't even like caramel but wondering what this bar is all abouts! Damn! Oh and I just had a fresh out of the oven warm croissant from this basement bakery hot spot in Portland the other day and thought of you. You'd approve ;)

stuffycheaks said...

Gastronomer - I was driving by yesterday and tempted to pop in for the salted caramel but it took a lot of willpower to keep going.

Diana - have u gone back? I need to make another brunch trip and next time, do the bottomless mimosa

Anna - aww thanks for thinking of me :) I am a sucker for croissants. When you're next in town, you really gotta try Bite's.