I have been eating at World Cafe since the 1980's when I first moved to Los Angeles. It has evolved over years from a beachy casual cafe to an eclectic place that still manages to combine a comfortable ambiance with delightful fresh flavor combinations.
Since the heat of summer finally came to Southern California this week, I sought out a place with a nice patio for lunch along the beach and I remembered World Cafe had exactly what I was looking for: a tasty salad in a shaded patio with lovely ivy covered walls keeping the street traffic and noise out of sight and earshot.
With a selection of specials starting at $9.99 for a seafood Louie or seared salmon salad, I opted for the grilled shrimp and corn salad on romaine with asparagus, red and yellow peppers with tomatoes for $18. The dressing was a tangy tarragon vinaigrette that was a perfect accent to the fresh ingredients and very generous salad. I loved the freshly roasted corn and the perfectly grilled shrimp so much that I started eating the salad without any salad dressing! The crispy fried onions added a nice crunch to the plate and would have been good just by themselves (they are offered as an appetizer if you so desire).
With sandwiches, burgers, pastas, entrees for vegetarians, or grilled seafood and meat, and desserts galore, all under $20 for lunch, this is a wonderful place to go with friends or alone. Service was absolutely professional and the location on Main Street in Santa Monica, means there is plenty of city parking behind the restaurant (meters) unless it is a sunny week-end.
Nice to know that after all these years of traveling the world, the World Cafe is still a good place to come home to in Southern California.