Six Taste Food Tours is the fastest growing company in Southern California’s food tourism industry. It was started in August 2009 by USC grads, Jeff Okita and Alex Tao, who both have a passion for good food. Los Angeles is such a culturally diverse county that offers a fantastic variety of cuisines, so it just made sense for Jeff and Alex to start Six Taste Food Tours to offer entertaining tours that are location-themed throughout Los Angeles.
We were recently invited by Jeff to join him on the Santa Monica food tour to explore some great restaurants by trying generous samples at each stop. This 4-hour walking tour took us around the heart of Santa Monica, near the Third Street Promenade. Our tour guide, Therese, led a group of us to 6 different establishments ranging from bakeries to wine bars! It was an amazing experience and we were both so highly impressed by her enthusiasm and knowledge of Santa Monica, as she shared historical facts, local tips, and reasons why these restaurants were chosen for the tour.
If it weren’t for Six Taste Food Tours, we would never have discovered some of these amazing eateries and we definitely recommend them for anyone who wants to try something new or need to suggest something fun for out-of-towners. Among the Santa Monica food tour, they also offer Little Tokyo, Hollywood, Thai Town, New Chinatown, and Delicious Dumpling tours. The company hosts more than 200 guests each weekend, partners with more 70 restaurants, and has over 200 Yelp reviews averaging 5 stars! An impressive track record for a company who isn’t even 2 years old yet!
The walking tour was around Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. It was a beautiful day to explore the city with fellow food bloggers!
Our first stop was at Röckenwagner Bakery/Café, located at 311 Arizona Ave. This bakery offers salads, soups and sandwiches featuring produce from the farmers market, but the bakery is best known for its daily baked breads and pastries.
We got to try a variety of goodies here, including some delicious hot coffee.
This bakery developed the first pretzel croissant. Hard like a pretzel on the outside, but soft and flaky like a croissant on the inside, the textures were definitely great together!
Scones.. not your typical scones. These were super moist raspberry scones that were soft and buttery.
We also got to try a couple other baked goods before getting to take some of the treats to-go! I didn't want to overeat on our first stop!
Next, we walked to the Tudor House, which is a little British market and English Tearoom Restaurant, located at 1403 2nd St.
Santa Monica has a very large British expat population, so that's why there are a lot of British eateries and pubs throughout the city.
At this stop, we got to try the popular Cornish Pastie, which is essentially a puff pastry stuffed with different fillings, such as meat, cheese, spinach, mushroom, etc.
We conversed over sampling some of the Cornish Pasties. They were bloody good!
After the Tudor House, we hopped along to Border Grill at 1445 4th St, which is a famous restaurant co-owned by Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, who have both been on Top Chef Masters. There are 3 locations, including a Border Grill food truck.
The group sat together to enjoy the food inside the restaurant that was decked out with colorful wall paintings that were actually painted by the two chefs themselves.
We started off munching on homemade tortilla chips with 3 different salsas: tomatillo salsa, smoky chipotle salsa, and roasted arbol salsa.
The Plantain Empanada consisted of roasted plantain, black beans, poblano chile, and cotija cheese.
Next we tried the Amarillo Ceviche Tostadita, which is mahi mahi with aji amarillo chile, ginger, and lime. This was my favorite!
The last small bites we tried was Potato Rajas Taco, which has creamy roasted potato and chiles, mexican cheeses, and pickled onion. For our parting gift, we also got to take a freshly baked sugar cookie along with a "Free Margarita" card for our next visit. Yay!
At this time, I was really stuffed but we weren't through with the food tour yet. Luckily the next stop was a wine bar, so I could manage that! Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar, located at 104 Santa Monica Blvd, is a small establishment that offers do-it-yourself wine tasting!
The vending machine wine tasters are quite the novelty for us, as this is our first time ever wine tasting like this. We each received a $5 card and in order to try the wine, we had to insert the card and then press the button to pour the wine of our choice.
Showing you guys how it's done! I sorta wish I had a $50 card instead... sigh.
Our next visit wasn't exactly at the restaurant... instead Therese took us walking down PCH with an amazing view of the beach and the Santa Monica Pier.
She then surprised us with these amazing sandwiches that she got from Bay Cities Italian Deli, located at 1517 Lincoln Blvd. She had it in her thermal pack because it would be too far for us to walk to the restaurant, not to mention the lines are always long! The salami sandwiches were full of flavor and the bread just soaked up all the juices from the filling.
To end the tour, we were presented with a fantastic selection of gelato at Angelato Cafe, located at 301 Arizona Ave. There were so many choices ranging from pomegranate to chocolate-peanut butter.
We each got a generous scoop of anything we wanted. This reminds us of our honeymoon in Italy where we ate gelato every day because frankly, that's what you do when you're in Italy!
We are so thankful that Six Taste gave us the opportunity to try one of their amazing tours! Therese and Jeff were great hosts who gave us a one-of-a-kind and entertaining experience. We encourage you guys to go on a food tour to try good food, meet new people, and celebrate the greatness of LA. We wish Six Taste the best with their successful company!