Uptown Whittier Restaurants

Here is a general list of some of the goldmine of places I like to go for good grub in the Uptown Whittier restaurant district, including the Greenleaf Promenade.

From time to time, a friend will ask what restaurants I would recommend in the Uptown Whittier, California area. This is a subjective list. What I like may or may not be what others are looking for. Just ask my husband. However, in compiling this list, I was amazed at the variety available within just a few blocks.

Let’s talk about parking. You will need to park and walk. This is an urban area. California Grill does have its own parking lot, but the rest are street parking (free), if you can find it. You can also take advantage of one of the two parking garages (not free). Enter one from Bright across from Phlight. Enter the other from Comstock between Philadelphia and Bailey. I think those are $2 or $3 to park, and you can often park inside which has the advantage of a cooler car upon your return. There is a larger outdoor parking lot near Chicken Koop and Off the Hook. Also, there is a smaller lot off Greenleaf north of Monty’s Camera and The Cellar, entered from the alley off Hadley or Bailey.

I have not included addresses. Your smart phone map app can help with that.

Currently, many restaurants have outdoor dining, which I have enjoyed. As the summer temperatures rise, however, that is losing its appeal. It seems, however, that when I dine outside the loudest cars and motorcycles seem to drive down Greenleaf Avenue. Annoying. But you might be a track-side NASCAR fan and thrive on that energy.

I have eaten at all these places and liked them. I’ve enjoyed some more than others depending on the food, service, and ambiance. Feel free to ask for more specifics in the comments or on social media.

There are some restaurants I have not tried yet. They are not on this list. I am set in my ways and just don’t have room for some of the new hot spots in my repertoire at this time. Some restaurants are missing simply because I’ve eaten there once, and that was enough. You can add your recommendation in the comments or on social media to expand this list.

For your reference:

  • Check Yelp or the restaurant website for the days and hours. Some are not open every day. Some are not open for lunch. Some are open for brunch only on weekends. Giving the restaurant a call will guarantee the most up-to-date information.
  • For some, it’s walk in and order at the counter. Some have servers that wait on your table.
  • Some are dark and pub-like. Others are open and light.
  • Some are loud. Some are quiet.
  • Some are old-school diner-style food. Some are interesting fusion cuisine and everything in between.

On Greenleaf Avenue

  1. JC’s Kitchen
  2. Auntie’s Cafe
  3. Poet Gardens
  4. Crepes & Grapes
  5. La Monarca Bakery
  6. Mimo’s
  7. Pho & Roll (I don’t like pho or sushi. I go for the California roll and chicken fried rice.)
  8. Greenleaf Thai
  9. Amachi (Japanese restaurant down the alley from Mimo’s)
  10. Colonia Pública
  11. JDO Mediterranean
  12. Steve’s BBQ
  13. Rusty Monk
  14. Uptown Pizza Co. (take-out)
  15. The Deli-up (Sandwiches at lunch only located in Phlight, 6724 Bright Ave.)
  16. The 6740 
  17. The Commoner
  18. Greenleaf Cafe Mexican Restaurant
  19. Rocky Cola Cafe

Within a Block or So of Greenleaf Avenue

  1. California Grill (corner of Painter & Philadelphia)
  2. New Canton (Chinese and Italian)
  3. Mr. Sandwich
  4. Bizarra Capital
  5. Mission Square (Italian)
  6. Brickhouse Pizza
  7. Phlight
  8. The Chicken Koop
  9. Off the Hook (fish)

Stay charming while eating your way through Uptown Whittier, my friends!

P.S. Someday, I want to try Guild Hall, board games and grub. Seems like a clever concept.

Angel Food Cake for the 4th of July

I love a red, white, and blue dessert for the 4th of July.

It was fun to bake an angel food cake from scratch over the holiday weekend. Especially eating it with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and fresh whip cream. Delicious! Before you continue reading, please read the disclaimer:

Remember I am a relaxed cook and baker. In other words, I’m high on ideas and low on ambition. If there is an ingredient I do not recognize, I will move on to another recipe. If it seems complicated to make, I will enjoy the photo and move on. I need lots of time and a lot of counter space. I do not cook or bake as often as many, so everything takes time. I’ve made a lot of things one time because cooking is an adventure not a routine for me. Keep that in mind. If you are an experienced cook, there is nothing new here for you. If you are a casual cook like me, this might inspire.

The story continues…

First, I prepped the ingredients. This always takes me time, but saves time later on.
The recipe called for 12 egg whites at room temperature. I wasn’t the only one sweating in the summer heat on Saturday while waiting to reach “room temperature.”
Separating the eggs does not mean placing them around the house one by one like for an Easter egg hunt. I am intimidated by the work it takes to get that white away from the yolk. It hasn’t always gone well in the past. I set my expectations lower this round. I went for “good enough” and “close enough.” After doing this twelve times, I was relieved to get to the last one! What do you do with the yolks?
Lemon juice is a better situation. I love my lemon juicing tool. I am fascinated by placing the lemon butt up and pushing. I like squeezing the device and the fresh lemon scent. I like how it catches the seeds. The leftover juice went in my ice water. Perfect.

Next, I got to beat the egg whites in the KitchenAid mixer I got for a wedding present 29 years ago. Still going strong. On both counts. This part was also fun because I got to watch for “until foamy.” Then “soft, billowy mounds.” After that came “glossy peaks.” Watching those stages actually appear in the shiny steel mixing bowl brought a smile to my face!

Next up: Folding the flour into the egg whites a little at a time. Who doesn’t love the calming curiosity brought about by folding in ingredients? It is not like folding laundry that then looks neat and tidy. It is a gentle shoveling of one thing into the other, encouraging the ingredients to blend. That’s a slow process that is calming to me. The curiosity for me comes from wondering how this will ever work, since I really just want to stir it all up quickly.
Time to plop the billowy, pillowy goodness all into our rarely used angel food cake pan.
Off to the oven to bake almost an hour. Sorry the photo is a little blurry. I was too excited by this point.
Time to watch, wait, and…clean-up. The hired help had the day off. [No kitchen staff in real life.] The house rule is: You cook or bake? You clean up. That gave me something to do while I waited hoping the cake would turn out OK.
More mystery wondering if it worked, while I endured more waiting. The cake cooled 2-3 hours before it was time to remove it from the pan. But how great are the little legs on the pan that permit setting it upside down?! Just like the three-legged stool we did in elementary school physical education, building to a headstand.

I don’t think the plate underneath was necessary, but I was wondering if the cake would just succumb to gravity and fall out. It did not.
Oh, relief! It looked OK. It was a little sticky, so perhaps it should have baked longer. But in the end, it tasted delicious and had that lovely, light texture.
I had to follow directions as carefully as possible. I need to do this a few more times to get more comfortable with it. Oh, and we will just have to eat it after my practice sessions.
Here is the source of the recipe. Who doesn’t love America’s Test Kitchen recipes?

Such a fun afternoon of baking something in the hot weather! Who doesn’t like to fire up the oven on a summer day? Ha, ha. The reward was a tasty treat we enjoyed during fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July.

Stay cool, my friends!

P.S. I made fresh whip cream to go on top. Thank you, Alton Brown.