Simon’s Secret Sauce Celebrates One Year at Stella Barra

(Editor’s Note: I was so excited to be invited to Stella Barra Pizzeria to celebrate Simon’s Secret Sauce’s one year anniversary. What’s a girl to do when she cannot make it? Send one of her best contributors, Julie Raelyn, of course! Thanks for a great recap, Julie! xo, Mary)

It was a lovely, LA fall evening (and by that I mean it was warm after a 90-degree day, but the perfect temperature for a night in Santa Monica) out on the patio at Stella Barra Pizzeria. Here, a group of foodies gathered to celebrate the first anniversary of the release of Simon’s Secret Sauce and for most of us, to try it for the first time!

Stella Barra was so kind as to host us for this event, as well as create dishes prepared especially with the sauces for this evening, just so that we could see how it pairs with all different kinds of foods. As it turns out, the owner of Stella Barra and the creator of Simon’s Secret Sauce are longtime friends. They started together working at the Coral Tree restaurant.

The restaurant has lovely vibes of being a tinge upscale while still having the feel of your favorite local pizzeria. I especially love the wood grain tables and décor spread throughout. The patio is no different, and it all just feels very familiar, a good LA hang-out spot, alive with good conversation and good food. A perfect spot to have our tastings.

An Evening at Stella Barra

Let me tell you though, these sauces are something special. There are three flavors- Original, Truffle, and Spicy. They are vegan, gluten-free, and also low-calorie. We began the evening with wine, of course, and I had a delightful Pinot Noir. We were served Stella’s signature garlic truffle fries, served to us with Simon’s Truffle sauce. It was so tasty. I thought maybe it would be too much truffle flavor, but it’s not overwhelming at all. It’s the right balance and brings out all the flavors in the fries. I don’t know about you but I love a good dipping sauce with my fries. I ended
up trying all the sauces with the fries and they all worked!

Our next dish was brussels sprouts, and they were prepared with the original sauce. I enjoyed dipping them in the Spicy sauce. I’m usually not a fan of brussels sprouts at all. I’ve even had several friends try to prepare them ways they thought I’d like, but I haven’t quite hit the right one. Until tonight. Dipping it in the spicy sauce, coupled with the way Stella Barra prepared them had me wanting to eat every last bite! As we talked with Dina our host for this evening, she mentioned she liked dipping all vegetables in the spicy. I can certainly see how that works out well.

Pizza time! (c) Julie Raelyn
Which will you try? (c) Julie Raelyn
Shaved Mushroom pizza. (c) Julie Raelyn

So what’s the secret in Simon’s secret sauce? Well, the main ingredient for all three sauces is mustard. Something I would never think I would enjoy so much as a sauce base. (I’m not usually a mustard person either). Something about the way he blends the ingredients just makes it work. It’s all pretty simple ingredients, to bring out the flavors in the foods you eat them with and just make them even tastier. He created the sauce during quarantine when many restaurants saw a decline in business
and got creative!

Simon’s Secret Sauce

We also tried the Caesar salad, chicken wings, and of course Stella Barra’s signature pizza with the sauces, and it did not disappoint. The shaved mushroom was so good with the original sauce and the Margherita pizza was amazing with the Truffle. I kept thinking that somewhere along the line, some plates were not going to go with the sauce, but I was wrong. The sauces truly went with EVERYTHING. I would say my favorite would be the spicy as I think it just puts some flare on your dishes. But seeing as how we got to take some home, I can’t wait to try the truffle on more dishes and experiment.

We ended the night with the delicious and popular homemade cookies Stella Barra makes, which was a lovely treat at the end of a scrumptious dinner. They are enormous, and our full bellies ended up taking some of our dessert home. Thanks, Stella Barra for a wonderful evening, and thank you to Simon’s Secret Sauce for putting together the event, and letting us try your tantalizing sauces. I will definitely be making them into staples at my home!

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