Thursday, February 22, 2018

G'Day, Mate - In Hermosa Beach???

We have passed The Gum Tree, 238 Pier Avenue, Hermos Beach  many times, but never explored it.  Even from street side it looked ... a little twee, if you will.

And then we got sandbagged into lunch there.  Of the eight of us from French class attending, six were all for it.  I clipped my mouth shut and smiled nicely as we got a big table on the patio out front.  The wind was coming in from the sea and menus and napkins had to be weighted down.  I might mention in passing that it was a strong wind.

Just as I thought.  The menu was heavy on "health foods."  Kale Caesar salad.  Quinoa this; vegetarian/vegan that.  One sandwich had a British touch - aged cheddar, Vegemite and tomato.  An attempt had been made to serve French foods such as a chunk of baguette with Brie and apricot jam.  Croissant sandwiches.  The only thing that appealed to me (or was recognizable as something worth eating) was a BLT with chipotle oil and an optional avocado (+ $1)

Richie had prosciutto on a baguette and remarked it was the only time he ate a sandwich and flossed his teeth at the same time.  My BLT - hold the lettuce, use avocado instead - was quite tasty except that the bacon was semi-toasted, not fried and crisp - and had what must have been a half handful of salt.  Salting bacon does not seem healthy to me.  And not crisping it is just begging for a bad cholesterol score that would appall Fatty Arbuckle.

The prices were reasonable (I seem to remember that a lot of presentations were $12 and they all came with an additional disco lettuce salad or a generous serving of chunked mango, white and purple grapes, apple chunks and some blue berries.

The name "gum tree" seemed ... off to me.  I visualized a tall tree with blobs of chewed bright pink Double Bubble gum for flowers.  Come to find out (this morning) the gum tree comes from Australia where the tallest one is 327 feet.  We call gum trees "eucalyptus."

Will and Lori Ford are the proprietors.  He is a native of Australia; she's from Manhattan Beach.

They met in New York when he stopped off to see his brother and wife there on his way to India.  He never got there; he liked NY too well.  She was pursuing a design career there.  They opened a restaurant called Eight Mile Creek which was an instant success.  But when the children started coming, they wanted to return to beach country.

A friend told them that a 1911 beach bungalow was for sale on the main drag and viola!  The Gun Tree which also sells cute stuff and odds and ends.  One of the items is a slate with a raffia ribbon for a cheese board.  Ralph's (supermarket) has them and if I were in the market for a cheese board, I'd price shop.

I would go back with these stipulations ... bacon well-done and no salt on it.

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