Every time I fly to Cali, I always arrive in the afternoon or evening, so arriving at 8:30am was a little unusual. Though sitting for 4.5 hours straight in a middle seat was not amazing, I would say it was better than stressing about making a connection, having a layover, having to go through the boarding and unboarding process twice, yada yada. Plus, I managed to read one whole book on the flight!
I read Verity, by Colleen Hoover, and while this post is not a review or anything, I will say I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend checking it out if you like thrillers, and I’d recommend it even if you don’t because thrillers are certainly not my usual genre but I loved this one!
Anyways, my friend that picked me up from the airport took me to a local coffee shop called Gnarwhal Coffee Co.
This corner coffee shop was so cool. It was small, but had a sort of clean/sleek minimalistic look to it. It felt very modern, and the iced chai latte I got was banging.
After that, I arrived at the lovely home I’m staying in, met the cat, and settled in. Then, I walked to a market nearby and got a few groceries for the week. On my walk back, I noticed a bread shop, and realized I forgot to pick up a loaf at the store, so I decided to get one from the bakery, Jyan Isaac Bread. I wanted the cinnamon raisin brioche, but they were out, so I said I’d take the city loaf sourdough, but they were also out of that. The worker said I could have the multi-grain porridge loaf instead, and I agreed, despite not being a huge fan of porridge or multi-grain bread.
It definitely looked… oaty. I actually did not like this bread at all, unfortunately, but I didn’t really expect to so at least I didn’t have high hopes going in. I’m more of like a Hawaiian Sweet Bread person and much less of a super hearty oaty loaf kinda gal. I really wish I had gotten to try the brioche. This bread was just too hard or too dark or too something.
Moving on, it was my first night in Santa Monica and I was determined to go out to dinner. I knew there were probably a hundred restaurants in the area and I’ll be damned if I don’t get out and try at least a few.
After looking up several places and debating how far I wanted to walk, I settled on a place called Rize Thai & Sushi.
The inside was relatively small, just a few tables and booths, and some seats at the bar. The decor was definitely on the modern side, with Edison bulb light fixtures that gave the place some atmospheric dim lighting.
The menu was quite varied, as it offered both Thai dishes and sushi, as you might’ve guessed by the name of the place. The menu also boasted a generous happy hour, but I had missed it by fifteen minutes.
I was tempted to try a Thai dish, as I’ve never had Thai food before, but I had a feeling everything would be a little too spicy for me. Mostly because all the names of the dishes included the word spicy in it, so I wasn’t going to chance it. I settled on a shrimp tempura combination plate. It came with miso soup, a house salad, rice, a California roll, and five pieces of shrimp tempura.
I’ve had a lot of shrimp tempura in my day, as it’s one of my favorite Japanese dishes. But this shrimp tempura was seriously the best I’ve ever had. I was blown away by how crispy, flavorful, and overall delicious it was. And the whole combo plate (soup not pictured, but also really good) was seventeen dollars! Not too shabby, I’d say.
I also got a Thai iced tea to go with my dinner, which I am a fanatic for.
If you have not tried Thai iced tea before, I cannot recommend it highly enough, this stuff is life changing. And this place had a really good Thai iced tea.
I was totally stuffed by the end, so I got a mango sticky rice pudding to go and ate it around midnight.
Mango has always been one of those things that is hit or miss for me, but I am confident when I say this mango was the single biggest hit I’ve had in my life. I don’t know where they get their mangoes from, but holy shit this stuff was unbelievably good. I’m so glad I didn’t pass up on dessert.
As if you needed even more reason to check this place out, the wait staff was super friendly! I had a very enjoyable experience and highly recommend going here if you’re in the Santa Monica area and like Japanese or Thai food.
So, yeah, day one in Cali was a total success, and I’ve loved every minute so far. The weather has been incredible, I love the cat I’m watching, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week!
Have a great day!