As I exhale a puff of white breath I dream of the next time I can wrap my fingers around a hot cup of minestrone soup like what you see above, something I found at Bluebird Cafe.
Open from Monday through Friday, it's a local hangout for stars and moguls from nearby Sony Studios in Culver City. Unless you work in the area, restrictive hours keep away 9-to-5 drones (yoohoo, right here!) who'd otherwise stake out the place for young Hollywood celebrities. Lucky for me, Monday was an office holiday.
Sandwiches are the cafe's main fare. Mikey and I tried them hot-off-the-press with proscuitto and Gruyere cheese. The panini bread was well-buttered and grilled to a flattened crisp with spare amounts of meat and cheese melded evenly within. Modest portions but sinfully good. Our combo meal came with the soup of the day, vegetable minestrone, which was amazingly fresh and tasty with big chunks of carrots, cauliflower and squash. No canned goods here.
Lemme tell you how happy I am to find this place--and in practically my own backyard! One time, I was riding my bike around the neighborhood and got lost. Guess what I found in the process? Bluebird Cafe! It lies among old warehouses and dance studios, off the beaten path 5 minutes from downtown Culver City. You can find your way there along Ballona Creek.
And yes Toto, they do have cupcakes. I kept staring at them the entire time. I came up close to take this picture, but when the waiter noticed me wiping the dribble off my face, he casually placed the cover over these two cakes. Darn. It's not like I would've gone without paying for them.
No, I didn't find myself among any Paris Hiltons. Not even a Perez Hilton. Just a bunch of us white-collar hooligans bundled up in Old Navy hoodies, cupping our homemade soup, hoping for warmer days ahead.