Summer House brings West Coast to Bethesda


photo by Madison Hurr

Summer House’s assortment of dishes gives diners the opportunity to experience West Coast food.

By Madison Hurr, Features Editor

Walking into Summer House: Santa Monica, I was immediately transported to the West Coast. The food and decor earned five out of five stars, as the restaurant offered a wide variety of dishes and a cool, relaxed atmosphere.

Summer House: Santa Monica opened in Pike & Rose in North Bethesda about four months ago. Its only other location is in Chicago.

The decor is tantamount to the atmosphere of a beach house. The interior is painted all white with indoor shrubs and greenery, providing a pop of color. Circular bulb lights are strung across the ceiling and both linen and glass lanterns illuminate the room.

Straw chairs and outdoor seating, along with a “Countdown to summer” plastered on the wall scream California.

Along with lunch and dinner options, the restaurant offers breakfast from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. giving even those who aren’t morning people a chance to savor the delicious breakfast menu, which includes chicken and waffles, orange-chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled egg sandwiches.

During my weekend brunch visit, I tried the Santa Monica egg white omelette, blueberry pancakes, roasted cauliflower and the pasta of the day, which was gemelli with fennel and pork sausage. Though most egg white omelettes lack the flavor of normal omelettes, this one did not. The cheese and turkey breast, as well as the tomato avocado topping, embellished the egg whites.

The roasted cauliflower was served with jalapeño pesto, candied lemon, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
Not too spicy and roasted to perfection, this was a great choice of side dish.
The gemelli was cooked to just the right amount of chewy, and the blueberry pancakes were fluffy and sweet.

Though delicious, the entrées seemed to be high in sodium, calling for a round of dessert to balance everything out.

I had the coconut float: fresh coconut sorbet, vanilla bean ice cream, passionfruit ice, lemongrass-lime soda and chia. It came in a mason jar and presented itself as a perfect summer dessert: a unique combination of crisp and refreshing flavors.

If the dessert menu doesn’t suffice, the front of the restaurant hosts a dessert bar with a wide array of sweets and coffee. One of their most popular sweets is the «Krispy» chocolate chip cookie topped with rice crispy treat bits. Another is the bacon chocolate chip cookie. They also serve gluten-free cookies and a gluten-free cinnamon roll for those with gluten allergies.

The “Krispy” chocolate chip cookie was soft and delicious. I had never seen such a combination of rice crispies and cookie before, and it was just as good as it sounds.

If you want to get a taste of California, go no further than Summer House: Santa Monica.