Posts Tagged ‘Santa Barbara’
As our plane followed the coastline up from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, the aerial views made my heart skip a beat: it was all sparkling blue Pacific ocean lined with golden sand and white surf, leading up to hills tinged bright pink in the light of the setting sun. Flying over sailboats, palm trees, and the Santa Barbara pier gave me such a sense of happiness. And the views just kept getting sweeter, with the city piled into the hills as a backdrop to the ocean-front cliffs of The Mesa, tumbling right into the sea. California is definitely my kind of paradise. Moreover, I stepped off the plane to a balmy, sunny day—this is why I love California Christmases so much!
It’s December! This wig shop on upper State Street in Santa Barbara caught my eye…it’s finally that time of the year!
I’m completely spoiled from the years I spent living abroad in Florence, Italy. When it comes to dining in Italian restaurants in the U.S., it’s a real challenge to find places with true authenticity. It’s not that most Italian restaurants don’t serve tasty cuisine, they definitely do, but it’s the disheartening disappointment I feel when a dish comes and it’s been thoroughly Americanized that deters me. How I wish I could just sit back and enjoy a meal without comparing things to the way they taste back in Italy! And talk about sounding snobby if I were to vocalize my feelings. So more often than not, I simply avoid eating in Italian restaurants, even though it’s one of my absolute favorite cuisines. A sad state indeed.
Enter Olio Pizzeria. I was thrilled to stumble across this tiny gem, hidden away in a quiet little plaza off Victoria Street in Santa Barbara. Just an hour drive from Los Angeles, you’ll find great Italian cuisine well worth the jaunt out of town. At Olio Pizzeria, which translates to (olive) oil pizzeria, you’ll encounter deliciously authentic thin crust pies prepared with abundant portions of olive oil and cooked in traditional wood-burning ovens just like they do back in Italy.
You’re not in Denmark anymore…although you’d never know it. For sweet aficionados this side of the pond, European confectionery delight can be sampled just a hop, skip, and a jaunt from Los Angeles. Without having to fly to Denmark to embark on this culinary journey, one can get their pastry fix in Solvang, California, a Danish village located in Santa Barbara county. Downtown Solvang is no ordinary California city. It’s home to Scandinavian shops, wine bars, and eateries that all architecturally appear to have been plucked out of a picturesque village outside Copenhagen. Yes, Danish flags flap in the wind. Yes, store clerks strutt traditional costumes. And yes, Smorgasbord feasts and aebleskivers (Danish pancakes) beckon from restaurant windows. Solvang even boasts not one—but three—historic windmills!