East Coast eatery Alfalfa opens in Santa Monica

By Sofia Santana

Alfalfa was started by four childhood friends and began as a simple idea to fill a gap in the community for healthy food.

Santa Monica’s newest dining experience on Main Street, Alfalfa, originates from a farmers market on the East Coast, inspiring joy through balance and creating a positive environment for customers.

After noticing a lack of healthy food options in Hoboken, New Jersey, childhood friends Daniel and Ben Sobsey, Andrew Arrospide and Daniel Londono started a salad tent at a nearby farmers market.

After a successful run, a local restaurateur invited them to run a pop-up at his luncheonette. Soon after, they took over the space and the first brick-and-mortar Alfalfa location opened in 2019. After two years, the founders fulfilled their dream of expanding to the West Coast.

Alfalfa’s commitment to a balanced lifestyle and a happy customer was the inspiration for its unique menu that evolved after the opening of the first location. The menu includes everything from its signature salads and bone broth to doughnuts and breakfast burritos.

“All of these elements combined fit more of who we are personally,” Daniel said. “While we like to be healthy and eat salads, we also like to indulge, so that’s where the doughnuts and the rest of the menu come from.”

One of the newest menu items is the honey matcha doughnut, which was created in collaboration with Alfalfa’s nonprofit partner, Bring Change To Mind (BC2M), an organization that works to end the stigma and discrimination around mental illness.

Alfalfa also sells unisex “Inspire Joy” T-shirts, which were created for the purpose of raising awareness for BC2M. The tees are locally made in the U.S. and $5 from each purchase will be donated to BC2M.

“Their mission aligns very closely with ours and what we aspire to do for the community so we thought they would be a perfect fit for us,” Arrospide said.

Alfalfa’s Santa Monica location opened in February and was well-received by locals that were looking for a quick and healthy place to eat on Main Street.

“Obviously with COVID-19, a new business opening up on Main Street almost brought a breath of fresh air to the community, so we felt the good energy and had a great opening weekend and could not be more excited to be a part of this community,” Arrospide said. “We’re also one of the few places on Main Street to have a back patio that is safe to spend time in, so a lot of people have been enjoying that.”