Eating Out

Indulging in Lunch and Dinner at Bell’s, a Californian French Bistro – Los Alamos, CA

I keep intending to blog more often, especially as I am dining out more again, but it’s amazing how many reasons I can find to neglect my blog. It’s interesting that I feel this sense of guilt for not having enough motivation to write in my free time. There is more context here. In the past year, I co-founded a software startup, and I find myself working four times as much for less than half my previous income. But as a workaholic in denial, I also believe I can maintain my prior food hobby and social media presence, along with this blog.

I have to admit, while I do like writing, I find that it’s more the reflection part of process, rather than the actual writing itself that brings me enjoyment. I also see that I very much enjoy editing photos for lighting and tone (in my limited amateur capacity).

Given all this, I think I have a new plan to motivate myself to blog more – I will focus on posting my photography of the experience and limit my words. Seems doable right? Let’s try this out.

One compelling dining experience in 2022 that I’ve been meaning to share is my dinner and lunch at Bell’s in Los Alamos. Bell’s is a French-inspired Bistro in Santa Barbara county by Per Se alums Daisy and Greg Ryan. There has been so much overwhelmingly positive praise about Executive Chef Daisy’s work, so I had high expectations going into my dinner. Well, expectations exceeded to the point where my friend and I had to go back a few days later for lunch before leaving Santa Barbara.

At dinner, every course was hit after hit – from the first luscious bite of Santa Barbara uni and caviar on mille crêpe, to the simple but stunningly bright salad, and ending on sweet citrus notes of blood orange and meyer lemon desserts.

Lunch was a more casual menu with traditional French bistro fare such as Burgundy snails and steak tartare. Simple and solid. If I had to just recommend one meal, I would definitely say try the dinner prix fixe menu, though you can’t go wrong with lunch either.

Dinner – March 2022

Bell's - Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Regiis Ova Hybrid Caviar, mille crêpe
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Regiis Ova Hybrid Caviar, mille crêpe
Bell's - Rusty's Sourdough, Cultured Butter
Rusty’s Sourdough, Cultured Butter
Bell's - Salade of Finley Farms Lettuces, shallot & medjool date vinaigrette
Salade of Finley Farms Lettuces, shallot & medjool date vinaigrette
Bell's - French Scrambled Egg, Mighty Cap mushroom, leek, grapefruit, salmon roe
French Scrambled Egg, Mighty Cap mushroom, leek, grapefruit, salmon roe
Bell's - Palourdes au Bouillon, littleneck clams, garlic tarragon broth, lemon curd, sourdough croutons
Palourdes au Bouillon, littleneck clams, garlic tarragon broth, lemon curd, sourdough croutons
Bell's - Pacifico Striped Bass, currant aigre-doux, pine nuts, bread crumbs
Pacifico Striped Bass, currant aigre-doux, pine nuts, bread crumbs
Bell's - Steak au Poivre, 5 oz coulotte, Steve’s peppercorn sauce & frites
Steak au Poivre, 5 oz coulotte, Steve’s peppercorn sauce & frites
Bell's - Citrus Sponge Cake, champagne diplomat cream, blood orange caramel, hazelnut tuile
Citrus Sponge Cake, champagne diplomat cream, blood orange caramel, hazelnut tuile
Bell's - Meyer Lemon Glacée, navel orange sorbet, toasted meringue, sablé crumbles
Meyer Lemon Glacée, navel orange sorbet, toasted meringue, sablé crumbles
Bell's - Dinner Menu March 2022
Dinner Menu

Lunch – March 2022

Bell's - Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Regiis Ova Hybrid Caviar, mille crêpe
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Regiis Ova Hybrid Caviar, mille crêpe
Bell's - Wild Burgundy Snails, parsley butter, Bob's baguette
Wild Burgundy Snails, parsley butter, Bob’s baguette
Bell's - Steak Tartare, hand-cut Flannery Prime NY, fries
Steak Tartare, hand-cut Flannery Prime NY, fries
Bell's - Bell's Lunch Salad, oranges, carrots, goat gouda, dill pollen, walnuts, currents, mustard vin, with chicken breast
Bell’s Lunch Salad, oranges, carrots, goat gouda, dill pollen, walnuts, currents, mustard vin, with chicken breast
Bell's - Egg Salad Sandwich, Utz Chips
Egg Salad Sandwich, Utz Chips
Bell's - Lunch Menu
Lunch Menu

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