Santa Monica and Spanish fritters

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.

Daily Candy email on Xooro
The email that started it all.

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.

Xooro Web site
A Web site to drool after.

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.

Sample churros from the window
Fritters from the window.

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.

Regular and dulce de leche

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.

13 thoughts on “Santa Monica and Spanish fritters

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  1. I'm not much of a Santa Monica fan either. I just feel sort of out of place anywhere on the "west side." That's why you mostly find me hanging out in The Valley, Hollywood, and quite frequently Echo Park. I do like the psychic cat on the Promenade, but have never had a reading done.

  2. Yay! I hate the westside. Another Valley girl through and through. Actually, I shouldn't say I hate it, it's more that I just don't feel comfortable there, and I find most of it a big hassle.How do they mess up churros? Churros are magical, and if the store is empty, that's really saying something.

  3. The space seems so largeto sell just churros, even fancy churros. I think I'll stick to the $1 ones at Costco. I even have my own condensed milk (for coffee) to dip in. Thanks for check the place out though.

  4. Hate the Valley. I only go to visit Jodi. Also hate anywhere east of the 110. Anywhere where it's 15 degrees hotter, and rampant with mini malls.

  5. My only visit to Santa Monica was to attend a party at a fancy hotel. it was for the Independent Spirit Awards and it was the very first place I ever saw a chocolate fountain for dipping. Jon Favreau was there and Patricia Arquette was DJing. My "gift" for attending was a Kate Spade toiletries bag which I still cherish. In any case, there were no churros, no fritter, no Paul and no Darlene, so, it could never have been that good anyway.

  6. I love Santa Monica! The people, the ambience, the ocean… everything.And I've been to xooro, and I love it! It's not the usual churro we all know….. this is something new, don't expect to have the tinny large churro from costco, this ones are filled, covered and half size, they couldn't be bigger, too much sweet!Try the original with nutella or the tortoise mmmmmm

  7. The picture of the fritters in the window made my mouth water! I've never seen anything like them in the UK, so maybe I might try to recreate something similar for my quick free recipe site….. mmmmm I'm hungry!

  8. Ok, missy, listen here – next time you're in SaMo, let me know. 🙂 That's my little town! I, obviously, love it there. It feels like living in a small town but with big town resources. And the weather is pretty freakin' awesome. I think I commented on one of your Flickr pics, but we were going to go that churro place, but all the Yelp reviews were awful and when we walked by, we saw ants on the window display. Eek.

  9. Jodi–Next time I'm visiting the psychic cat. It will probably tell me "you don't belong in Santa Monica."Sarah–Those churros were just… gak. 818 in da house! Woot-woot!Mrs. Wong–I agree that nothing beats the $1 churros at Costco.JustJenn–That's true about the mini malls. I still don't get why Burbank isn't considered part of the Valley.Bavarian Erin–How in the world did you get an invite to this party you speak of? Is it because you own a super cool comic book shop?ChubbyPanda–I agree that sometimes food should be left alone.Carol Hermand–Say. Do you work for Xooro? Or PR for Xooro because your profile link to–Yes, I did rag on Santa Monica. Honestly I think it was the traffic that got to me.

  10. Josep loves those filled churros, er, fritters!! I had never experienced anything like them in Cali, but heard all about them from him years ago. They have them all over the place here in Chi-town. …At the WhiteSox game, 6 Flags, the zoo…its like your regular, mandatory funnel cake item at all tourist spots. –>Leave it to Santa Monica to turn it into a chic boutique-y $4 desert snack! *-*

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