In Search of Best Food — Solvang and Santa Barbara

On Day 2 of Kevin and my staycation, we headed north to Solvang for some delicious Danish delights. We were looking forward to visiting our favorite Aebleskiver restaurant in this dreamy little European enclave but it looked like it has closed down between the time we were there last several years ago and now. We really enjoyed watching an older gentleman (probably the owner of the shop) make the Danish round pancakes at The Little Mermaid so we were very bummed that it went out of business.

We ended up at a restaurant called Solvang Restaurant, a coffee shop that served my favorite round treats, which turned out to be a big hit!  Kevin ordered the meatball and sausage combination and they were out of this world!biggrin

The split pea soup was creamy and delicious!

There was something SO amazing about the braised red cabbage and apple. I think it was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy that made me fall in love with this side dish.  Kevin didn’t have a chance with this one!

Aebleskivers were great. I liked the homemade raspberry jam too. These little balls were little denser than the ones I got used to from the Mermaid place but still delicious. This alone was worth a two-hour drive (although Kevin drove and I slept most of the way)! We ended up taking home our very own Aebleskeivers pan so we can make them at home!

After shopping and strolling around Solvang, we headed south and made a quick stop at Santa Barbara.  Our first stop was our favorite pastry shop called Renaud’s Patisserie and Bistro.  Although this place is tucked away in an unsexy shopping mall, its pastries are absolutely world class!  Think The Bakery from the movie, “It’s Complicated.”  This is how I’d imagine how buttery croissants tasted like in Jane’s shop.

Kevin goes absolutely head over heels for its almond croissants and I’m crazy about its apricot tart.  If you are in the area, please go check this place out (there are two locations in Santa Barbara — one on the lively State Street).  You won’t regret it!  Just make sure to go early since a lot of these goodies sell out pretty quickly.

After we successfully secured our desserts and tucked them away safely in the car for the evening indulgence, we headed to a restaurant called Los Agaves that Shannon recommended.   She was totally right on with how amazing this place is — one of the best Mexican food I’ve had, which is not easy to say since there are so many great Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles.

Crispy chips and fresh salsa, with guacamole … heavenly.

I ordered shrimp ceviche with cucumber slices and a piece of pineapple.  Shrimps were freshly “cooked” in lemon juice (not pre-cooked) and there were A LOT in the plate. biggrin This was  the best ceviche … ever.  I’m not kidding!

Kevin had the seafood burrito.  Look at the size of this thing!

We seriously ate non-stop the entire day.  On the way back, we had to stop at Camarillo Outlet just so that we can park the car and take a nap! lol We were that full with all the good food we ate!

Oh, how we didn’t want this bliss to end.