I don’t like Santa Monica very much. I’ve only been there three times when I lived in Los Angeles and I didn’t think very much of it between the traffic, the parking and vagrants on corners asking you for money. And then there are the street performers, namely the monkey whose only trick is to take money from the Promenade onlookers.
But Santa Monica has its good things. It’s near the water. It’s good for people-watching. And it has a pretty extensive independent comic book shop which I would visit more often if Santa Monica wasn’t so hard to get to. Yes, I am a reformed Valley Girl — even if I only lived in “The Valley” for one year.
Enter Daily Candy. It’s a daily email of things to do and eat. I ended up subscribing to this newsletter mainly because friends (who also subscribe to Daily Candy) like to forward me interesting items that were emailed to them. Anyway, last month Daily Candy profiled Xooro (pronounced shoo-ro), a gourmet Spanish fritter place in Santa Monica. My first reaction was that could this possibly be the next trend following cupcakes? In addition, they did have an exceptionally awesome Web site that made me drool just looking at their products.
Well I was due for a trip to Los Angeles anyway and maybe also see if Santa Monica was as really bad as I remembered it.
I blame myself for going up on a holiday weekend but aside from the traffic, it was humid and hot. After finally finding parking and walking around Santa Monica, not one but two people asked if I was from the area. I don’t know if I looked like a tourist or it was the big hat I was wearing to protect me from the sun, but that annoyed me to no end.
We arrived at Xooro — a tiny and clean shop but pretty much empty. Even with the lure of Xooros on display, we were the only people in the shop. No wonder, the fritters which are basically bastardized churros were expensive at $3.69 for a basic fritter filled with vanilla cream to the more elaborate dulce de leche at $4.20.
I don’t have any complaints about the original. It was as competent as it could be and the vanilla creme center was good. But dulce de leche almost sent me into a sugar shock. Aside from the caramel filling, the whole thing was dipped in sweetened condensed milk. It took all my effort to finish that thing without gagging on the amount of sugar. I even begged from Paul to take a few huge bites from my order. Yes, begged.
I don’t see these churros, ahem, fritters becoming the rage anytime soon. Nor will I be revisiting, with it being in Santa Monica and all. Truly Santa Monica wasn’t as bad as I remembered but despite the heat and questions from locals about “what town I’m from,” I did walk past Jessica Alba trotting along with some ginourmous sunglasses. Now that girl could use something from Xooro to help fill out.