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The Westside: Coastal >
Cafes & Coffeehouses >
Posted by Anonymous on 08/11/2011
Im a New Yorker, a Brooklynite to be exact. We are a discerning breed of travelers. In a new town (in this case Santa Monica) the first thing I look for is a really good cafe. That cafe becomes how I learn the community. It has to be clean, welcoming, have great food, good service and atmosphere. Cafe Bolivar hit a home run my first visit. The salads are wonderful and the half portion makes this establishment number one for bringing children. The "Pacifico" sandwich is a delightful combination of sweet and savory and the Veggie Tapenade's kalamata olive rosemary citrus relish is not to be missed. The staff is exceptional, friendly, professional, helpful yet not intrusive. The locally produced art work exhibited, the library of rare books, the food, staff and locals makes this spot home away form home.
Posted by Connie on 09/27/2008
The food was a nostalgic reminder of Caracas: arepas and fresh jugos. The service was a bit sullen, left no napkins, and didn't clean the table. But the food wil lure me back.
Posted by Diego Velasco on 03/18/2007
Cafe Bolivar is the best place to escape that doesn't need a passport. The staff is friendly, great art work, books that you can burrow and most importantly great food and coffee. They make the best Arepas (venezuelan typical dish) right in front of you. Nothing frozen here eveything is made to order. Great vibe and very easy to find parking, like I said if you want a taste of Venezuela and can't afford the airfare this is the place to go
Posted by allykinz on 03/15/2007
food is good
Posted by sawubona on 02/11/2007
great to see a place like this in a little neighborhood coming alive and not (yet) dominated by ghastly chain stores and overpriced yuppie palors.
Posted by Erik on 10/02/2006
We love Cafe Bolivar. Long live the independent. Very local crowd. Small but good menu.
Posted by Nora on 07/16/2006
This unassuming corner of Ocean Park Blvd and 18th Street in Santa Monica has astonishingly good food and a relaxing atmosphere. It appears to have developed a substantial following in its two year history and was crowded at lunchtime with locals and Venezuelan ex pats. The arepas, as ubiquitous to Venezuelan cuisine as hamburgers are to the US, are divine. Small perfectly grilled round corn meal "pancakes" sliced open and stuffed with various fillings--cheese, avacado, chicken, mango, etc were better than any I had in Caracas. The fruit juices are lush. The salads and other sandwiches looked wonderful and the menu is diverse. The service is friendly and personal and it's clear patrons return regularly. Moderately priced with free or metered street parking, this is an unpretentious part of Santa Monica that is a real neighborhood: independent businesses--several are Latino.