I ran a 10K this weekend with my friend Juanitah. I'm so proud of us! After the run, I felt oddly nauseous yet ravenously hungry all at the same time. I had looked up some brunch options in Santa Monica the day before and narrowed it down between Cora's Coffee Shoppe and Amelia's Espresso and Panini. In the first mile of the 10K, I distinctly remembered passing by Amelia's (clearly I was focused during my run), so we headed back down to Main Street, but they weren't open yet. Since we were starving, we decided to check out Cora's instead. If you're going up north on Ocean Avenue. It'll will be on your left hand side right before the Lowes Hotel. It basically looks like a square concrete structure with a little retro neon sign on top. You can't miss it.
The building itself is tiny so most of the tables are in the outside patio area. After a bit of a wait, since the place is quite small, we got seated at one of the small tables inside the coffee shoppe. You walk in and there are two two-person tables to the left and right of the door and there's a long counter where you can sit. Half of the square building is pretty much the kitchen. It is quite a feat in space maximization. They even had a small rotisserie oven that I was drooling at. I think Cora's is what my apartment is going to look like one day if I ever buy a place in Santa Monica. A 400 sq. ft apartment with half of it belonging to the kitchen with its own rotisserie oven ... why not add a pizza oven while we're at it. A girl can dream, right? =)
Now to the food. I had my heart set on the Orange Blueberry Pancakes even before I stepped foot into the restaurant because I had heard that they were pretty spectacular and I saw a few orders go by and they looked pretty darn tasty but my eyes kept getting fixated on the Wagyu "Kobe" Style Beef Burger. Who craves a burger at 10 in the morning? Apparently, soomeenshee after a run. Again, it was the half nausea, half delusional state that I was in.
The burger was huge. Do you see that beef patty covered in cheese?
It almost looks like another bun. That's how big it was. I'm kind of sad to say though that I was a bit disappointed. I know it's not a real Kobe burger, but it's gotta be different, right? Maybe I'm just not a beef connoisseur, but it didn't taste any different. Maybe if there was a side to side comparison I could tell but it tasted like a regular burger to me. Their interpretation of french fries was interesting. It was a baked potato that they cut into a thick slice and it almost looked like they pressed it down in a cast iron skillet, hence it's smashed appearance.
Juanitah got the Burrata Caprese Omelette. Doesn't the name alone sound tasty? Yum.
The omelette was really good. The burrata was sandwiched in between the omelette and there was a salad of chopped heirloom tomatoes and basil sprinkled on top. The eggs were nice and fluffy, the cheese mellow and divine and the heirloom tomatoes fresh and ripe. Perfection on a plate. The omelette also came with the thick slice of potato and a piece of toast. I don't really remember the potato or the toast, they all became afterthoughts. I think the saving grace for the toast were the jars of homemade jams on the table. Each table had small jars of strawberry jam, rhubarb jam and orange marmalade. I sampled each one of course and they were all very good. Homemade jam makes me happy.
Their menu says that they use fresh produce and try to use organic products when possible. Their efforts really show and shine in items like their Burrata Caprese Omelette. I would definitely come back for the omelette and I'll have to try the Orange Blueberry Pancakes next time. For those that are not brunch fans, they had pasta, tacos, quesadillas, paninis, salads and other meat entrees as well. I didn't try their coffee, but a lot of people seemed to pick up some coffee to go as well. Next time you're in the neighborhood, keep an eye out for that neon sign and stop by.
Cora's Coffee Shoppe