Califor-ni-ay, here we come – it’s Pomona’s, Notting Hill

19 Jul 2018

During those horrendous teenage years of first loves, growing pains and hideous choices of fashion, I was obsessed with the Californian TV series, The OC. I took one look at Seth Cohen's curly barnet and knew it was for me. I wanted it all, the ridiculously sized car, a sandy Newport beach to cry on and a moody best friend with an overwhelming amount of wife beater vests.

Alas, the Orange County dream never materialised, but I did manage to find myself in the Big Smoke, which can cater for any kind of life you want. You just have to know where to look.

The Golden State can be found nestled in the neighbourhood of Notting Hill, in the shape of Pomona’s, a restaurant ‘inspired by the ethos of Californian living’. Pomona’s is like a breath of fresh sea air, bursting with natural light, tropical colours, green plants and the most beautiful garden. I’m sure when I closed my eyes for a moment at the table I could hear the sea hitting the sand and Mischa Barton’s sobs and sniffles in the distance.

The dishes are divided into small plates, charcoal dishes and light options, of which the Salamanca olives (£3) and socca nut mix (£3) nibbles, were a great pilot for the rest of the seasonal menu. It screams health and wellness, even the cocktails look like they could teach The Fray a lesson in to how to save a life, with the bright green vodka Matcha Mule cocktail (£9.50) giving you a boot up the backside with citrus and ginger.

For episode two: soft shell crab (£6) and onion squash and gruyere arancini (£6), both cooked so well and so god-damn tasty. When the plates were done I felt as though I’d been left on a bigger cliff-hanger than the end of an Eastenders episode waiting for the next course to arrive.

I’m almost sure no one wants to hear the phrase clean eating anymore, it sounds like we’re downing toilet cleaner and can taste about the same as the bright gooey liquid too, but I can’t help but think I need to look out for number one when eating out, make some health conscious choices if I’m doing it on the regular, luckily with each plate of unprocessed, locally sourced food that hits the table from the open kitchen I feel like I’m going to make it to the other side of 30.

The lighter salad dishes of quinoa, cucumber, peas, labneh, pomegranate (£12) and the Jerusalem artichoke, spinach, sun blushed tomato, and pine nuts (£12) went down like cake at a birthday party, wonderfully colourful, delicious and nutritious, but the season finale had to be the Indonesian monkfish curry with rice and toasted cashew nuts (£12). I can’t begin to pretend I’m even nearly religious, but that monkfish gave my tastebuds a sermon so inspirational, that for a moment even I believed in the highest of heavens, it fell apart perfectly, absorbing some of the hot and creamy curry flavour.

It’s more than a pleasure to eat at Pomona’s, it feels guilt free and I can’t wait to go for a second season, so let’s bum a ride – California here we bloody come!

Lindsey

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