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Huckleberry Bakery & Café is one of those trendy, foodie havens that is actually all about substance over style.  We first visited the last time we were in LA, in 2011, early on a Saturday morning.  I think it was the first meal we had in LA that time and we weren’t disappointed.  There was a queue out the door of young, too-cool-for-school locals.  But it was worth the wait.

Huckleberry, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California, Brunch LA, LA Bakeries, Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan, Artisan Food LA, Real Food, Organic Food, Local Food Producers LA, Artisan Bakery LA, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar, Milo & Olive, Sweet Rose Creamery,Huckleberry, Santa Monica

We both had generous brunch dishes – a decadent Croque Madame for me and a fancy grilled chicken sandwich for him.  We also had some buttery flaky pastries, fresh squeezed juices and excellent coffees.  And we bought a loaf of their sweet, nutty multigrain bread to take home.  They use organic milk in their drinks, local fruit and veg and high quality meat and eggs.

I always prefer to spend more for good quality food, but in America I go out of my way to find real food, because to be honest, mainstream American food gives me the creeps.  So if I can find places that serve organic, local, natural food, I gravitate towards them again and again.

Huckleberry is part of a group of wonderful restaurants in LA run by Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, and the passion they have for real food shines through in all of their establishments.  The only one I haven’t made it to is their ice cream parlour, Sweet Rose Creamery.  But I will visit it next time I’m in LA.  This time around, we were fortunate enough to visit the rest of the group, and we trekked all the way up the very long Wilshire Avenue in the relentless LA sun, with the kind of determination you only get when there’s delicious food at your destination.

DSCN2983Green Eggs and Ham at Huckleberry, Santa Monica

I ordered the Green Eggs and Ham, extra soft fried eggs, on a crunchy toasted English muffin, with salty sweet prosciutto, lots of rocket (or arugula if you’re American), and a runny homemade pesto drizzled on top like a dressing.  It was superb.  I am trying to be more adventurous with my brunch choices, because I tend to stick to my old reliables of French Toast or Pancakes, but sometimes you really just want something that’s as savoury as possible.  This lived up to it’s Seussian namesake.  It was a lovely mixture of a fancy salad and an open sandwich, and was just the right about of salty without being overpowering.

Huckleberry, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California, Brunch LA, LA Bakeries, Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan, Artisan Food LA, Real Food, Organic Food, Local Food Producers LA, Artisan Bakery LA, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar, Milo & Olive, Sweet Rose Creamery, Green Eggs and Ham at Huckleberry, Santa Monica,

Reuben at Huckleberry, Santa Monca

Mr. Cookslot had a Reuben sandwich, but not just any old sloppy Reuben sandwich, no.  This one was made with a dark grainy bread, baked in house of course, and tender flaky Niman Ranch Pastrami, creamy gooey Gruyère with a crunchy ruby slaw and Russian dressing.  Again, it was fresh, savoury and satisfying. I forgot to take any pictures of our drinks, but we had some great coffee as well.  And I took an iced cappuccino to go, which fuelled me back down the seemingly never-ending Wilshire Boulevard.

Huckleberry, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California, Brunch LA, LA Bakeries, Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan, Artisan Food LA, Real Food, Organic Food, Local Food Producers LA, Artisan Bakery LA, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar, Milo & Olive, Sweet Rose Creamery,

Counter at Huckleberry, Santa Monica, with bakery in background

Huckleberry seems to be the kind of place you can pop into for a very quick or casual brunch but also the kind of place you could spend a lazy morning or weekend afternoon, taking your time, enjoying all sorts of delicious baked goods with friends and family, before finally dragging yourself away reluctantly.  It’s got a similar vibe to somewhere like Brother Hubbard in Dublin, but with a lot more sunshine streaming in through those tall windows. If you find yourself in the area, I urge you to try it out.  They also serve weekday breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, and of course they have their own in house bakery, so take your pick!

Huckleberry, 1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

www.huckleberrycafe.com

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