I am totally, 100% fully, certifiably, undeniably…
I have a full-time job.
(And it only took me three months to realize it!)
I am in there like swimwear, and if you knew how popular the Wicked Weasel is (PG-13, so click at your own risk), you would know that from today until I flirt my way into the wallet of a Sugar Daddy, I will be lunching on or around 3rd Street Promenade every day. I work on 3rd Street Promenade. My office is on The Promenade, or “The Prom” as I like to lovingly hiss out of the side of my mouth.
Sadly, the dining options on the Promenade, though seemingly, superficially plenty, are rather slim if we’re talking about actually being able to eat. Food. The edible kind. Sit-down restaurants are everything short of a travesty, and unless my large intestines can stomach the fiery, fibrous, lactic fate of a bean and cheese burrito doused in habanero salsa from La Salsa every day, or God forbid the doubly exciting chicken curry bread at Famima!!, my noontime disco is relegated to not more than a half handful of places, one of which is…
I say “relegated” as if Café Crepe were something of a tragic acceptance, but in all honesty, its Broadway corner location, sidewalk seating under umbrellas, and posters that dare you to call the décor anything but “French café” are not that bad. The only reason I make it sound like it’s a fate worse than being slapped across both cheeks by a Wetzel’s Pretzel tied to the foot end of pantyhose that a Hooters server peels off at the end of a late shift during football season is that I don’t like crepes. I don’t necessarily hate crepes. It’s just that ever since crepes became so trendy that there are two different resturants within 100 yards of each other in Santa Monica and even more trendy that there is a creperie on Sawtelle, I bristle when I think of their puffy whipped cream cuteness perfectly folded inside a fragile wisp of nothing and sprinkled with Hello Kitty sugar and giggles. It’s the same thing that happens to me when I think about Sprinkles Cupcakes, Beard Papa’s, and Pinkberry. Trendy. *shudders*
Don’t even get me started on Nutella, which Café Crepe displays in perfectly stacked rows in their front window. My Mom made me suffer the humiliation of the chocolate hazelnut spread while every other kid in elementary school had peanut butter and jelly. I am sure I will eventually be able to enjoy Nutella in my adulthood, but I’m not there yet.
Café Crepe has a few things on their menu that are not crepes, and these are the things that I can handle after opting to sit just inside the front window instead of out on the sidewalk so I don’t have to share the same air with the tourists. Does it sound like I hate tourists? If I worked for the City of Santa Monica, I would probably be much more careful about spewing bitterness toward the market that keeps local hotel and retail businesses profitable, but I work for a company that happens to be located on The Prom. Tourists with their outdated Frommer’s Guides and Traveler’s Cheques make it okay for restaurants on or around The Prom – Barney's Beanery, Bravo Cucina, Lago, Trastevere, Sunset Bar & Grill, Monsoon, and the conveyor belt sushi place that unsurprisingly shut down – to serve appallingly mediocre food. I suppose there are worse things in work life – like donuts on Fridays and vending machines – so I’ll stop there.
I have yet to try any of Café Crepe’s sandwiches, and I probably never will given that I am not a sandwich girl, but I have been happy with the salads. Greens always look bright, other ingredients are fresh, and the presentation is neither too haphazard nor too composed. The Greek Salad with all its salty olives and crumbled feta cheese, is my current favorite. I have occasionally enjoyed the Nicoise. Of course, no restaurant’s salad offering is complete without a Caesar, but Café Crepe’s Caesar disappointed me. Unlike the other salads, the Caesar came overdressed, and I feel weird asking for a Caesar with the dressing on the side. That’s just not right.
Soup is also a little bit disappointing, but I forgive Cafe Crepe for their watery interpretation of a vegetable soup served with plastic packaged saltines.
You would, too, after realizing that Café Crepe has a full bar. Not that I'd ever indulge in a cocktail at lunch on The Prom during work hours.
1460 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401