Last week was my birthday week, and what better way to start celebrating than to begin yet another new endeavor--reviewing restaurants for the Culver City News and Blue Pacific News. (In addition to here at BHP, of course!) When I was thinking of which fabulous Culver City restaurant to review first, I realized that, in keeping with the birthday theme, I needed to choose a place that would have cake, and therefore came up with Dolce Vita Bakery Café.
The highly-recommended E-words Benedict.
But it’s so much more than desserts, which are plentiful here. The first word that came to all of us in my party, (and my boyfriend, Mr. X at home, on left-overs duty) was “Fresh!” I have seriously never thought of that element before, but it was crying out for attention.
For example, Mr. X and I get turkey sandwiches all the time from high-end markets, made right in front of our eyes, yet none of them has ever tasted as fresh at the one at Dolce Vita. Delicious, too, of course.
This is a lovely, bright, clean café, with indoor/outdoor seating, that serves breakfast, lunch, desserts, gelato and many beverages; in other words, something for everyone. There are also all kinds of magazines and newspapers for solo diners to peruse. Now to the food itself:
A cute guy at a near-by table told us that his Eggs Benedict served on a croissant) were the highlight of the menu, but seeing as I don’t eat e-words (just get used to the term now!), and we were sharing, AND there were a multitude of menu choices, we took his word for it.
|Pesto Sandwich served with delicious Chicken-Tortilla Soup.
There were a variety of waffles and 8 other breakfast dishes, but I had eyes for only the bacon, which was 4 perfect slices for a mere $1.50!!! That’s unheard of nowadays. At that price, I could have eaten as much of it as I do at buffets!
By the time my friends and I chatted with Ricardo, the amiable owner, and looked through all the mouth-watering display cases, it was time for lunch, so that’s what we concentrated on.
Though there are several Italian entrees, we decided to go with the basics: soup, salad, pizza, and sandwiches. We tried an individual pepperoni pizza for $4.99, and I really liked it. It was hearty, with lots of cheese, and of course, was hot and fresh, as were all the appropriate dishes. Marie and Allen shared the Pesto Sandwich, and it was so big, that they couldn’t even finish it. Marie said it was lovely. (She’s from Canada. They have a nicer way of describing things up there.)
All of our favorite Caesar Salad with Chicken.
Sean beat the rest of us to the Caesar Salad with Chicken, and went nuts over it! It was a good portion, so there was enough for all of us, and we all agreed that it was outstanding and our favorite menu item. We would have eaten more dishes, but had to leave room for dessert, though we were really stuffed at that point. All of our favorite Caesar Salad with Chicken.
A word on the beverages here: They all shared the strawberry-lemonade and it was a big hit. Marie, who’s super-picky on coffee, said it was really good and a generous portion. (I had heard compliments on their coffee from others before I went in.) And Allan, liked the taste of the Latte, while admiring it’s reasonable price.
At that point, we could fit in only a couple of desserts. Marie and Allan said the heated Triple Berry Scone was tart and great. And I loved the dark and dangerous chocolate cake. It killed me to share, but seriously, I took most of it home, and it took me four sittings to finish that one slice! How generous was that?! It lasted so long that I’m seriously considering it to be my first birthday cake this year. And I can’t think of a more delicious way to kick it off.
Dolce Vita Bakery Café 4410 Sepulveda Blvd. CC 310-390-5733
I grew up in New York, and restaurants there hold a certain fascination for me. I get so excited when I’m visiting for the two-time-a-year Restaurant Week. Never once did I consider that maybe LA would follow suit.
But guess what--we have! It’s such a great concept that I should have thought of it! And by reading this, you’re all just in time.
What it is is a whole bunch of restaurants all over the southland offering specially-priced, three-course, prix-fixed menus for a specific period of time; in this case, the next two weeks minus Saturdays. As in NY, the participants range from the classic (The Palm) to the trendy (Asia de Cuba) to the local eatery (Daily Grill.)
You can “know before you go” by checking out the website below and clicking on the Restaurant Week section. This way, if you really hate your meal, at least you didn’t break the bank to go there! Good device for blind dates, too. Happy sampling!
L.A. Restaurant Week January 27 – February 1 and February 3 – February 8 www.dineLA.com