Tucked away in a cluster of businesses Cache sits just off Main Street in Santa Monica and proves to be worth finding. As a way of celebrating the warm LA winter we chose to sit outside. The patio at Cache is like no other, for starters, it feels too nice to be outdoors. The rich décor and warm vibe make it hard to believe the open skies are over head.
Our waiter Brian arrived and went on a precision run down of the menu that had my head spinning by the third item. As much as I admired his knowledge of the food, ingredients and preparation, I had to stop him and say, “please bring me all of those.” Keep in mind, at this point, we’re just talking appetizers.
The first of the three starters was calamari. This was not your average calamari dish, not by a long shot. This happy squid was scored and cut into square pieces unlike the traditional ring. Also breaking the norm, the calamari was not breaded, but rather cooked in a wood fired oven in chorizo and Meyer lemon. This is now the only place in town where I can eat calamari, save your breaded onion ring rendition of said seafood for those who have not yet seen the light.
Foie gras was waiting for me as the Calamari dwindled, I’m a food separatists, so the spotlight is only for solos. The foie gras came with a seasonal fruit, which in this case was mango and set upon a thick crouton. The foie gras was rich and noteworthy to me for having a thicker consistency, which I prefer. The mango was sweet, but not too sweet to overwhelm the delicious waterfowl.
The third starter, fire roasted bone marrow needed to cool a bit, so I left it for last. We had to ask for an espresso spoon to best retrieve marrow. The side of the dish was festooned with slices of toasted baguette that offered a convex helping of herbs and wild mushrooms. These little toasts were a marvel on their own, but with a generous liquefied marrow.
We got a visit from another waiter, he was dropping off an order of fries. At first I told the waiter we hadn’t ordered that. Then we were told that we had to try them, accompanied with house made aioli ketchup, mayo and mustard, you need to try them too. The Belgian style fries were crisp and seasoned with parsley and black truffle oil. This comfort food is fine tuned to please me.
I was doing so well with appetizers I wanted to continue to sample them all. With the dishes I had all being beyond my expectations I ordered the duck confit, which came in a mason jar with baguette toasts on the side. The confit was meaty, moist and loaded with herbs and carrots. If you only get one thing here this is it.
My entrée arrived, I was torn between the filet and the special, which was cod. Despite everything being so good so far, the cod was not on par. The sweetness just did not agree with me. I thought the consistency of the fish was ideal, but I just couldn’t get over the sweetness.
On the side I had the crushed fingerling potatoes. These almost mashed tubers were teaming with parsley and shallots making it a hearty accompaniment to the cod.
After a long pause, I opted to share the strawberry shortcake with my dining partner. The dessert offered loads of fresh berries and house made whipped crème. This was ideal with a cup of coffee to end the night.
In the end, I walked out of Cache thinking that they really had it all. I’m going to take this review back in next week and use it as a checklist to order everything I didn’t get to try thing first time.
3110 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Ongoing Events at Cache:
Live Music Thursdays
Join CACHÉ every Thursday night for live performances in the bar lounge and groove to the best in local talent. David Boyles performs his inimitable “organic hip hop / Southern-fried soul” acoustic music every other week with special guest artists in between. 2 sets, beginning at 9 p.m. No cover, no minimum
Happy Hour at CACHÉ
From 5-7 daily, meet at the bar or in the lounge for cocktails and delicious small bites.
Signature Flatbreads $7 Daily Sliders $7 Truffle Fries $7 French Fries $7
CACHÉ cocktails, well drinks and wines by glass, $7 Dos Equis beer, $4
Every Wednesday and Thursday, Chefs Josiah and Nyesha cook up a delicious burger designed from Farmers’ Market ingredients.
Cache serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with a new menu from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Our bar lounge menu is available from 2:30 p.m.