Dear Summer House,

For someone who loves to eat at restaurants, this was my first experience with Chicago Restaurant Week (which is two weeks but whatever, I like that).

Summer House has a location in Santa Monica, and despite the wintery, icy cold weather outside, the restaurant maintains its breezy West Coast vibe. And the food was just as breezy and light. The restaurant week menu had some specialties that aren’t on the regular menu, like my entree: baja shrimp tacos.

The shrimp, so crispy and perfectly spiced. The salsa and guacamole, so fresh. The bright sprig of cilantro and hearty rice and beans, so perfect. I cleaned that plate like it was my job. And the best part was that I wasn’t too full or weighed down (because, hi dessert).

The chocolate cake came with like, seven layers and lighter-than-a-cloud whipped cream. As if it couldn’t get any better, it has a teeny piece of peanut butter fudge and sea salt sprinkled on top. As someone who can each chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this cake was so rich and satisfying that I had to take half of it home.

Oh and do you see the little guest dessert in the background there? Summer House has a small market right up front, so if you just want to stop in for a GIANT, amazing cookie (or Dark Matter Coffee,¬†an Oreo Rice Krispie treat, or fresh English muffins), you can. Let’s just say, I’m glad I don’t live any closer to this restaurant than I do, because they would be out of cookies every day. Because I’d buy them all.

Summer House, there may be 135 days left until summer, but a delicious meal like this is like a shot of friggin’ sunshine.


Alma is a journalist by trade, living and working in Chicago while staying true to her tree-hugging spirit, L.A. spirit. Favorite pastimes include watching great television, listening to fantastic podcasts and daydreaming about writing a novel. Favorite foods run the gamut from sweet to salty to savory to eggs Benedict. And chocolate. Especially chocolate.