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Discover Los Angeles: Santa Monica’s Ester’s Wine Shop & Bar

With frequent non-stop flights to Los Angeles from Vancouver, LA makes for a great short trip! I recently took a 4 nights, 3 days trip to LA with one of my girl friends for a quick ladies trip. It was a super fun vacation packed with lots of firsts – partaking in both local and tourist activities. This article is the first in my Discover Los Angeles 3 part series. Enjoy!

On our first day in LA, we wanted to check out some sights in Santa Monica, enjoy a great lunch, and watch the sunset on the beach (one of my favourite California pastimes!). Visit Santa Monica assisted me in the planning of my afternoon, sending me various recommendations for shopping, eating and playing in their neighbourhood. After shopping along the Third Street Promenade (the main street for shopping in Santa Monica), we headed over to Ester’s Wine Shop & Bar, located just a quick walk from Third Street Promenade on 7th Street off Santa Monica Blvd. Quietly tucked away from the tourist strip, I’ve been told Ester’s is a popular weekend brunch hangout for locals.

With a beautiful exterior patio and an equally elegant interior filled with comfy plush couches and chairs, I can tell that brunch would be fun for a group of ladies out enjoying a meal before their shopping or beach excursions. During the weekday, we had a variety of sandwiches and salads to select from for lunch. To celebrate our girls trip, we first started off with Ester’s Mimosa Trio Service, normally available on weekends, however based on request maybe available.

The Mimosa Trio Service includes a full bottle of Prosecco, accompanied by a trio of juices that you can mix in to create your own preferred mimosa. The trio of juices included orange juice, grapefruit juice, and my favourite – lemon and mint juice. Although the most citrusy, the lemon and mint prosecco is ultra refreshing.

As we prearranged our meal with the restaurant ahead of time, we were provided with complimentary snacks with our drinks which included spanish olives, corn nuts, lavender almonds, and curry cashews. Our favourites were the spanish olives, which weren’t extremely salty, and their in-house made lavender almonds.

For our lunch entrees, my friend and I decided to order two dishes to share. We ordered the Salad Nicoise and the Grilled Cheese sandwich on their menu, being told their Grilled Cheese was popular.

The Salad Nicoise was loaded with hardboiled egg, potato, tuna, cherry tomatoes, and olives mixed with a whole grain mustard vinegar sauce on top of a bed of mixed lettuce. The portion side was definitely enough for one person as a meal – may even be a bit much, however since we shared it, was just the perfect amount for the two of us when accompanying the Grilled Cheese sandwich.

There are no sides that accompany the Grilled Cheese, and doesn’t necessarily have to be. It is ultra gooey, cheesy and very rich. The Grilled Cheese sandwich contains 4 types of cheeses: reading, provolone, reggiano, and bechamel. I’m not sure if I would have been able to finish a whole sandwich on my own, so was glad I could share it!

Overall, I loved my dining experience at Ester’s. Everyone working there were friendly and had lots of menu recommendations. The environment is chill, unpretentious, and relaxing to dine in. Part of their restaurant is also a wine shop, where you can find some unique and hard to find bottles from around the world. They also sell olives, nuts, and other items you might want to buy to accompany your wine.

Ester’s also offers wine tasting events, chef burger nights, and more. You can find out their latest events on their calendar of events here. If I lived in Santa Monica, I would definitely be a regular for brunch, with girl friends hanging out on the patio, sipping mimosas. Yes, a week after our visit, and I still long for their Mimosa Trio Service.

For more info on Ester’s Wine Shop & Bar and to make your next dining stop in Santa Monica with them, please visit www.esterswineshop.com. They are open 7 days a week til late, offering brunch, lunch and dinner service.

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