Monday, 30 January 2012
Bubba Gump no shrimp in entertainment… Santa Monica
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Suzy Psaltis
‘How can I be having so much fun in a themed restaurant?’ I caught myself asking my partner. Not that I am some kind of gourmet foodie snob, but we usually avoid themed restaurants for the fact that while the little traveller is having a good time, we yawn at each other across the table and leave malnourished. Only to make a cheese sandwich when we get home.
It is true of many theme restaurants that at their sausage sizzle, it is all about the sizzle with little attention to the sausage.
But let me say here and now, the food at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant was fantastic. The restaurant obviously, taking its namesake from the ever popular Forrest Gump movie.
There is some memorabilia here and there (including ‘run forest run’ signs to get the waiters attention) but beyond that it has the feel of a roadhouse diner with neon beer signs and shelves of hot sauce collections. I recommend the Hillary Clinton hot sauce …
It is located on the right hand side of Santa Monica pier directly in front of the sign that denotes the end of legendary highway Route 66. The view of the ocean and white sand beaches offered from inside is just gorgeous. It is the perfect backdrop to long, breezy lunches.
Now, on the menu … well … is shrimp (prawns to you and me) served nearly one hundred different ways. With other tempting dishes for those who are shrimp-shy. So many, in fact, that I am not sure what to order and almost completely hand my decisions over to our waiter ‘Red’. Or Dave, but we call him Red because there are five other Dave’s working there already.
‘Red’ like many in the service industry in this town is also a hopeful actor who has moved to LA for his big break. He is quick witted, upbeat, and thoroughly knowledgeable of the menu.
He is having a good time. And it is clearly obvious it is important to him, for us to be having a good time also. All of us … not just the cute one in the high chair.
Red also runs a table quiz at one point in the meal. Forest Gump questions for the adults and Disney questions for the little traveller. This has all of us laughing and dishing out high fives to one another from the start
The little traveller has her meal brought in a cute fold-out boat containing a crispy fish and chips (that are delightful) and is accompanied by a jelly cup and fresh orange slices.
We begin with the Shrimper’s net catch. A bucket of shrimp cooked in a garlic spice. A scampi/linguine pasta dish follows this for my partner and a unique combination of shrimp, sausage, mashed potatoes and bourbon sauce for myself. It was all delicious.
The little traveller has a fruit mocktail in a flashing disco cup and the two of us big kids have, on Red’s recommendation, these huge fruit cooler cocktails (house specialties). Confession time … OK. We have two each!
Not only were the drinks so tasty and refreshing, upon settling the very reasonable tab we were then presented with the glasses as a keepsake. And not the ones we had just drank from but fresh ones boxed up ready to take home. A lovely touch extended to all diners.
All told, it was a great holiday experience for the whole family.
As I sit here writing this, I am selecting from a box of See’s old time candies, reflecting on what was one of the true surprise highlights of this trip for all of us.
I guess it is true to say “life is like a box of chocolates … you never know what you are going to get”.