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'Food of the Gods' Featured During Santa Monica Restaurant Week


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By Lookout Staff

January 7, 2019 -- All week long, chefs at 30 Santa Monica restaurants will whip up dishes featuring an orange fruit whose botanical name means “food of the gods.”

The persimmon -- known for its honeyed flavor and healthy benefits -- will be the custom ingredient during Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s (SMTT) seventh annual Santa Monica Restaurant Week, which kicks off today.

During the signature culinary program, participating restaurants will offer "specially-crafted dishes, all created to highlight the (persimmon's) generous health benefits," tourism officials said.
Persimmon drawing

The persimmon "is full of vitamins A, B and C" and "contains key minerals and fiber, which promote heart health, reduce inflammation, support healthy vision and keep the digestive system healthy," event organizers said.

The orange-colored fruit has a unique flavor, said Laura Ramirez of JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch, one of the many farmers who sell the fruit at Santa Monica’s four weekly farmers markets from October through early January.

“There are two distinct varieties of persimmon found here,” Ramirez said. “The fuyu variety is flat and sweet like an apple while the hachiya is cone shaped and sweet like honey.

U.S. Department of Agriculture 1891

"It’s an old-fashioned fruit with a very unique flavor.”

Featured dishes during restaurant week include Roasted Acorn Squash and Pickled Persimmon Tacos at Azulé Taqueria, Persimmon Sorbetto at Caffé Bella, Crunchy Kale and Persimmon Salad at Massilia and Roasted Persimmon Tartine at Upper West.

Other participating restaurants include Bondi Harvest, Dolcenero Gelato, El Cholo Santa Monica, Élephante Beach House, Esters Wine Shop & Bar, FIG Restaurant, Funnel Cakes on the Pier, Inotheke, Kye’s, Lunetta, Malbec Argentinean Cuisine and Meat on Ocean.

Also participating are Obica Santa Monica, Red O, Seaside on the Pier, Stella Barra Pizzeria, STRFSH, Sushi Roku, The Curious Palate, The Independence, The Penthouse, The Veranda, Tiato, True Food Kitchen and Water Grill.

“SMTT is thrilled to have such a diverse selection of restaurants joining us for this year’s Santa Monica Restaurant Week,” said Misti Kerns, President/CEO of SMTT.

“The culinary program provides an opportunity to highlight the city’s innovative chefs, year-round access to the finest produce available, and our community’s commitment to sustainable, organic and healthy ingredients.”

Santa Monica Restaurant Week -- which is is offered in conjunction with California Restaurant Month -- celebrates Santa Monica’s "status as a health-conscious culinary destination," tourism officials said.

Throughout the week, diners will have the chance to win a $500 dining certificate by sharing Santa Monica Restaurant Week photos on social media using the hashtag #SMRestaurantWeek.

For more information on Santa Monica Restaurant Week prizes, participating restaurants and detailed menu descriptions, click here.


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