316 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
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Le Pain Quotidien

Neighborhoods: Downtown
Cuisine: Sandwiches, Bakeries, Catering

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naia photo

naia

 Los Angeles, CA
 

Dunno, I just don't get it.

I have eaten here a few times, and each time I go, I have this feeling that the food is going to live up to my expectations. …and each time, the food is too complex.

Too many different flavors don’t quite work together in their dishes, although each ingredient stimulates the tongue — even if many rely on saltiness to do so.

The drinks are always overpriced, especially if they have ice in them. $3 for a glass of ice with something like hibiscus tea filling the spaces between the ice just seems a bit much, but perhaps that’s because I make hibiscus tea at home by throwing a few tea bags into a pitcher of water. …so, I at least expect a full glass of tea, not ice with a little tea.

Likewise, their open-faced sandwiches are cute and always nicely presented, but I always feel like I have to hold my hands just so to eat them and at the end, I find myself feeling a little unsatisfied.

There is one thing I like, though: Their big community table. It just feels warm and homey.

It’s not bad, but I’d probably go there with a group instead of alone since the ability share the experience together is enhanced by the big table.

CleverGrrl photo

CleverGrrl

 Los Angeles, CA
 

Delicious breakfast food, cramped setting

Okay, so this one has a totally different feel from its snooty (but alas, much roomier) Bev Hills cousin.

This one feels like the Bev Hills’ version’s dorky, eclectic little cousin, who has a bit of a self esteem problem.

This PQ has a gigantic communal table that essentially takes up the entire restaurant. On the day that we were there, I think there may have been some sort of party or event, since the whole table was occupied, and everyone seemed to know each other.

The ham and gruyere omelette? One of the best I’ve had. I’m sure they cooked it in butter, which – FYI – makes all the difference.

My friend and I had so much fun smearing apricot and berry preserves on our bread, as well as white chocolate and hazelnut. Much better than the average jelly – the fruit jam was tart and tangy, the hazelnut and chocolate more complex than sweet. YUM!

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Le Pain Quotidien is located near the cities of Sawtelle, Venezia, Venice, Pacific Palisades, and De Witt.
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