Santa Monica is one among California’s most well-known seaside cities, for a lot of excellent causes. Beautiful seashores, the enduring pier with its Ferris wheel that lights up the night sky, and – after all – its numerous great eating places. Visitors (and locals, too) have so many consuming selections it may be a bit overwhelming, from traditional high-end eating spots at eating places overlooking the Pacific Ocean to extra informal locations the place a little bit of sand in your sneakers is the norm.
We’ve chosen our favorites, the ten Best eating places in Santa Monica, which embody Chinois on Main, the all the time scrumptious Pan-Asian spot and the Michelin-starred French finery at Melisse, in addition to extra relaxed eateries together with Italian standout Fia, seafood specialist Water Grill, traditional Mexican from a neighborhood longtime favourite (Gilbert’s El Indio) and the place for extremely good pizza (Stella Barra). No matter what culinary fashion fits your fancy, Santa Monica has it!
Rustic Canyon Restaurant opened in 2006 and ever since this homey neighborhood place has gotten rave opinions from the locals in addition to being lauded with a Michelin star. The restaurant’s convivial environment makes discovering their seasonal farm-to-table delicacies and superb wines a delight. Rustic Canyon works with quite a few native farmers, ranchers and fishermen who follow sustainability, serving to to make sure that it solely delivers the best high quality of meals to its patrons. The menu adjustments on a regular basis, however strive their pork chop with a smoked trout roe sauce for a style you’ll bear in mind. And do not miss a sampling of Pastry Chef Erika Chan’s pleasant desserts; she’s a Michelin honoree on her personal.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: Rustic Canyon is doing every little thing proper by way of delicacies and so they have an award-winning wine record that focuses on small producers, too.
Jenny’s professional tip: Be sure to have dessert, as Pastry Chef Erika Chan gained the Michelin Guide 2021’s Best Outstanding California Pastry Chef award.
At Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen, Chef Ram Krishna Naidu brings an eclectic, thrilling twist on Indian meals to Santa Monica. His cooking emerges from less-familiar (to most Americans, anyway) locations like Rajasthan, Goa, Afghanistan, New Delhi and Pakistan. Which means he is serving up some tasty dishes that individuals in these locations eat as avenue meals like spicy kebabs and Pani Puri, in addition to restaurant classics together with the Chicken Tikka accomplished within the Tandoor oven. It’s nice with some Naan bread to sop up the wonderful sauce. Diners discover loads of vegetarian choices, together with the large Paper Dosa (crepe) made with rice and lentils and paired with yummy chutneys. You may even ask for truffle oil along with your dosa, which we extremely suggest, at this Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded eatery. Desserts embody the Chocomossa, fluffy fried samosas overflowing with wealthy chocolate.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: Unique flavors and a cheery setting together with a sidewalk patio make Tumbi a candy spot for eating close to the Santa Monica Pier.
Jenny’s professional tip: Go a bit early to sit down on the patio to observe the crowds go by and to see the sundown, too.
For 47 years and counting, Gilbert’s El Indio has been serving up the most effective Mexican meals in Santa Monica. This family-run eatery has lasted by means of thick and skinny (and the pandemic), regardless of a number of competitors for town’s Mexican-food loving denizens. Created by and nonetheless run by the Rodriguez household, who additionally dwell in Santa Monica, that is actually a “local” joint, full with top-notch Mexican favorites and pitchers of margaritas to assist every little thing go down very easily. Favorites embody Fernando’s Burrito, a melding of Chile Relleno and burrito, and the Plato de Carnitas, luscious pork served in a traditional sauce. Say hi there to most anybody who works there, as they’re all a part of the prolonged household that has saved this traditional place going by means of thick and skinny, in a metropolis that is stuffed with Mexican eateries.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: One of Santa Monica’s longtime, award-winning Mexican favorites for each meal, the place every little thing is do-it-yourself, proper right down to the tortilla chips.
Jenny’s professional tip: If you’re keen on margaritas, purchase them by the pitcher right here and share with everybody at your desk.
The pizza at Stella Barra is so good you may be texting your mates to come back be part of you for some pie at this convivial place on Main Street in Santa Monica, the place Chef Ben Goodnick makes use of a standard oven to make spectacular pizza. His dough is hand made each day, then fermented for a minimum of 18 hours to offer it a novel taste. Then he provides market-fresh components (suppose butternut squash, charred cherry tomatoes, Calabrian chilies) onto that crispy, but chewy crust, leading to a severely nice pizza. It’s so good that there are actually extra Stella Barra Pizzeria and Wine Bar areas, one in Hollywood and one other in Maryland.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: This is the most effective pizza you may discover close to the seaside in SoCal. And perhaps the most effective pizza in all of SoCal!
Jenny’s professional tip: Be positive to style the Burratta Tomato Jam appetizer for a special tackle that luscious cheese.
Steak lovers know that BOA Steakhouse is the place for top-notch meat in Santa Monica. This outpost is a little more informal than its West Hollywood predecessor (with a extra relaxed gown code), however there’s nothing informal in regards to the meals served right here. The steak menu covers dry-aged beef, together with 40-day New York Strip, large filets and Japanese Wagyu. Plus, like each world-class steakhouse, BOA has signature rubs and sauces to select from, together with a “Surf” menu together with seafood choices like lobster tail, salmon, ahi tuna or king crab. In a nod to the California meals tradition, diners will discover gluten-free and vegan choices.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: BOA Steakhouse is one among Southern California’s finest locations to eat a memorable piece of meat.
Jenny’s professional tip: Park in one among Santa Monica’s quite a few public parking tons, then take a stroll alongside the Third Street Promenade after your meal.
Like its older sibling of the identical title in downtown L.A., the Water Grill in Santa Monica is a seafood lover’s paradise. Huge towers of uncooked and chilled shellfish are par for the course, served up in a big convivial house dominated by wooden and leather-based. And there are many different scrumptious cooked selections on the menu, starting from an ahi tuna and avocado poke to a wild Mexican Mahi Mahi entree that can knock your socks off. Other wild selections embody swordfish, halibut and sea scallops; you title it and the Water Grill most likely has it on the menu. Plan a go to when the Spiny Lobster is in season in SoCal (October to March) and you will uncover a melt-in-your-mouth deal with that makes you need to come again the subsequent day and have extra!
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: Since 1989, the Water Grill has been doing seafood proper in SoCal, in Santa Monica and past.
Jenny’s professional tip: Always search for the hand-written complete fish selections on the backside of the menu for a chic deal with.
Pasjoli is Santa Monica’s relative newcomer, a French-inspired bistro that Chef Dave Beran opened in 2019, after closing Dialogue, his tiny one-Michelin starred eatery on the Santa Monica Promenade. Now in a comfortable spot on Main Street, full with an enormous bar and outside backyard house, Pasjoli is severely French. That interprets to crepe de crab, rilettes de canard and fois de poulet –” just for starters. The crowning jewel of Pasjoli is the main course roasted duck for two, prepared tableside, that the Michelin Guide calls “world-class culinary theatrics” when giving Pasjoli its personal single star within the present information. Beran’s accolades additionally embody garnering three James Beard awards, together with Rising Star Chef of the Year 2012, an honor he has clearly confirmed he deserved.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: Chef Dave Beran’s creations have been wowing Santa Monica diners for years; now could be the time to strive his extremely lauded dishes.
Jenny’s professional tip: If the spirit strikes you, go for the caviar (ossetra) et blinis appetizer and bliss out.
Fia could be the final word Italian-Californian restaurant, a snug place with a phenomenal again backyard that takes full benefit of Santa Monica’s year-round lovely climate and (extra importantly) exemplary meals. It does not harm that British Chef Brendan Collins honed his expertise at Melisse in Santa Monica, the place Michelin stars have been routine. Those expertise are evident in each chunk at Fia, from starters just like the blissful salt and pepper calamari with blistered shishito peppers or the burrata with luscious ripe figs and smoked prosciutto. Either of these alone would make us love this place, after which the handmade pasta course arrives. Collins is a fan of recent black truffles, which make us swoon. So when his handmade cavatelli cooked in brown butter arrives, with truffles added on the desk, the scent alone is divine. The style is even higher. Fia is cooking up beautiful seafood risotto with lobster, shrimp, scallops and octopus, too; and if a barely much less caloric dish calls to you, the superbly ready diver scallops served with spring pea tortellini and pancetta is a delight, with delicate flavors which are positive to please. Pair all with their eclectic wines by the glass or one among their craft cocktails, and do not miss the “Cascading Tiramisu,” a dessert that can undoubtedly shock you and make your candy tooth very completely happy.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: Elevated Italian fare utilizing California-fresh components served up in an ideal seaside metropolis setting make Fia an actual winner.
Jenny’s professional tip: At dinnertime, park on the road close by; the meters go off at 6 p.m.
Chinois on Main, the second restaurant that Wolfgang Puck opened method again in 1983, has all the time been a perennial favourite on the Westside of Los Angeles. Located on Main Street in Santa Monica, Chinois was one among SoCal’s first Asian Fusion eateries, melding Chinese, Korean and Thai flavors with Puck’s signature California-French tastes. Classic menu objects embody Shanghai lobster with curry sauce and crispy spinach, Whole Sizzling Catfish and Szechuan Beef. The famed Chinois Chicken Salad is one among Puck’s actually impressed innovations, a dish that has spawned numerous imitators throughout the Southland. But there’s just one place to get the crunchy, scrumptious authentic, and that is proper right here, at this superbly embellished traditional spot that is just some brief blocks from the ocean.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: This Santa Monica culinary establishment is the unique Asian Fusion restaurant in all of L.A.; almost 40 years later, it nonetheless is incomparable.
Jenny’s professional tip: Parking could be robust on Main Street, so head up Hill Street to Neilson Way the place there are many meter-parking tons a block away.
Ever since Melisse opened its doorways in 1999, Chef-Owner Josiah Citrin has pushed for excellence in each aspect of this fine-dining expertise and has succeeded admirably. His restaurant is the form of place the place patrons gown for dinner, the silver is actual and each dish is exactly made to the exacting requirements of French haute delicacies. Constantly showered with accolades, Melisse led the way in which towards seasonal menus sourced by way of native farmer’s markets (Citrin is a fixture on the famed Santa Monica market) and continues to innovate. The chef makes the menu selection throughout this eight-course meal, so hope that the legendary Dover sole made tableside or the Cote de Boeuf Roti are on the menu. If not, relaxation assured that each chunk will likely be memorable. Make positive so as to add wine to your meal, as Melisse has among the finest cellars within the metropolis.
Recommended for Santa Monica’s Best Restaurants as a result of: One of the few two-starred Michelin eating places in L.A. (as of 2021), this Santa Monica star is the place in L.A. for haute French delicacies.
Jenny’s professional tip: Know earlier than you go that there’s just one solution to eat at Melisse, which is an eight-course dinner tasting menu (at present set at $295 per individual).