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10 new and notable restaurants in Santa Monica

If you're attempting to keep up with the restaurant scene in L.A., lately you may have found yourself eating a lot of dinners west of the 405 Freeway. That's because more and more of the ciy's restaurants are opening in Santa Monica, where the board shorts are plentiful and so is the avocado toast....

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    • Craftsman and Wolves patisserie to bring the 'rebel within' to Culver City

      Craftsman and Wolves patisserie to bring the 'rebel within' to Culver City

      Craftsman and Wolves, the San Francisco patisserie and retail store known for its chocolate croissant stacks and soft egg-stuffed "rebel within" muffin, will open a location in Culver City. The Southern California outlet is slated to open in August in the new Platform boutique retail center.  The...

    • Chef Heidi Curry comes full circle with Dunkin' Donuts

      Chef Heidi Curry comes full circle with Dunkin' Donuts

      Chef Heidi Curry, the senior manager of bakery research and development at Dunkin' Brands, may have one of the most enviable jobs in the culinary world. She spends her days testing and tasting doughnuts and other Dunkin' products. She was also part of the innovation team that developed the brand's...

    • Brunello di Montalcino at Valentino, gin and tonics at Greystone

      Brunello di Montalcino at Valentino, gin and tonics at Greystone

      Chianti may be the best-known wine in Tuscany, but it’s Brunello di Montalcino that connoisseurs regard as the region's king of wines. And Friday night, you have a chance to taste some of the best examples at a special dinner put on by the Consorzio di Brunello di Montalcino honoring Santa Monica’s...

    • First look: Chili rice cakes, poke and musubi at Roy Choi's re-imagined A-Frame

      First look: Chili rice cakes, poke and musubi at Roy Choi's re-imagined A-Frame

      The A-Frame you know and love, Roy Choi's I-Hop frame turned blond wooded modern picnic haven, will reopen as Choi's version of an L.A.-skewed Hawaiian restaurant on Friday. After five years of turning out the famous cracklin' beer can chicken, pickle plates and green curry-coconut milk clam chowder,...

    • Mark Strausman of Freds at Barneys New York is big on fennel pollen

      Mark Strausman of Freds at Barneys New York is big on fennel pollen

      Mark Strausman is the chef at Freds at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, which recently opened in the former fifth-floor Barney Greengrass space. Before signing on as the chef at all Freds locations, including sister restaurants in New York and Chicago, Strausman graduated from New York City Technical...

    • Scratch Bar chef declares Back of the House Appreciation Month, #BAM

      Scratch Bar chef declares Back of the House Appreciation Month, #BAM

      If you’re part of a restaurant’s back of the house staff, also known as the BOH in the industry, chef Phillip Frankland Lee wants to treat you to a free meal. The Scratch Bar and the Gadarene Swine chef has declared the entire month of February Back of the House Appreciation Month, along with the...

    • Changes at Venice's beloved Rose Cafe stir up protests
      Changes at Venice's beloved Rose Cafe stir up protests

      Watch out if you’re thinking about messing with a landmark. Bill Chait might have thought he was doing a good thing by buying Venice’s beloved artist hangout Rose Café and updating the food with Jason Neroni in the kitchen.

      But that’s not the way some of the restaurant’s regular patrons saw it.

      ...

    • Caffeine update: Coffee Commissary now open in Palms
      Caffeine update: Coffee Commissary now open in Palms

      The Westside is now a little more caffeinated: Coffee Commissary just opened on the ground floor of the new M Lofts residential building in Palms. The cafe is on Motor Avenue, right off of National Boulevard, which is especially convenient not only for the many folks who live and work in the neighborhood,...

    • Free Salt & Straw ice cream at Compartes in Brentwood for Valentine's Day
      Free Salt & Straw ice cream at Compartes in Brentwood for Valentine's Day

      As if a Hallmark holiday devoted to love wasn't enough cause for celebration, Salt & Straw is handing out free ice cream.

      The Salt & Straw ice cream truck will be giving away free mini scoops at Compartes Chocolatier in Brentwood on Valentine's Day. The scoop shop collaborated with Jonathan Grahm...

    • 9 great grain bowls at L.A. restaurants
      9 great grain bowls at L.A. restaurants

      If you find yourself at a new L.A. restaurant lit with Edison light bulbs, and outfitted with repurposed wood, chances are you'll see a grain bowl on the menu. No longer solely associated with health food stores and post yoga session sustenance, grain bowls have become a satisfying one-dish meal...

    • 38 L.A. restaurants with Valentine's Day specials
      38 L.A. restaurants with Valentine's Day specials

      Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to spoil that special someone, or revel in the fact that you're single, and don't need to buy a gift for anyone but yourself. It's also called singles awareness day, right? Whether you're solo or in a couple, if you're looking for somewhere to dine out on Feb....

    • Beefsteak Sundays, Chop Daddy's in Culver City, $2 hot cocoa
      Beefsteak Sundays, Chop Daddy's in Culver City, $2 hot cocoa

      Beginning Sunday at Bacari PDR and Jan. 25 at Bacaro L.A., both restaurants will offer a "beefsteak Sundays" dinner special. The special takes place Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m. and includes all-you-can-eat grilled hanger steak, oven-roasted potatoes, onion rings and toasted baguette for $35. Dinner...

    • An evening at Spaghettini Beverly Hills: Dinner, live music, Eric Benét
      An evening at Spaghettini Beverly Hills: Dinner, live music, Eric Benét

      Name of the restaurant: Spaghettini and the Dave Koz Lounge.

      Concept: A Beverly Hills outlet of the famous Seal Beach spot, serving Italian-skewed California food, which translates to house-made pasta with seafood, tuna tartare, steaks and more by executive chef Scott Howard. Dinner is accompanied...

    • New year, new spices for your kitchen -- plus other pantry tips
      New year, new spices for your kitchen -- plus other pantry tips

      Now that you’ve cooked your way through the holidays and used up every bit of chocolate, almonds, honey and spices in your cupboard, you’ll probably want to replenish them.

      Chocolate prices are going up, so buy what you’ll use over the next few months. Almond prices, too, are bound to rise as California’s...

    • You can get a $40,000 bottle of Cognac at the Peninsula Beverly Hills
      You can get a $40,000 bottle of Cognac at the Peninsula Beverly Hills

      If you're spending $40,000, chances are it's on a car or a down payment on a condo. But if you're at the Club Bar at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, you could be buying a very expensive bottle of Cognac. 

      The hotel has just launched a new "remarkable spirits menu" that includes a $40,000 bottle of...

    • Special restaurants for grown-ups: Pistola, Providence, Spago
      Special restaurants for grown-ups: Pistola, Providence, Spago

      In the midst of holiday potlucks, family get-togethers, office parties and craft fairs, sometimes you need a shot of glamour. You want to celebrate in high style. Casual won't cut it. You want to dress up. You want tablecloths, Champagne, a thrilling menu and a special bottle of wine. You want,...

    • Step out, then duck into these L.A. hot spots for a drink
      Step out, then duck into these L.A. hot spots for a drink

      The holidays are a time to socialize, and for some of us that means an uptick in cocktail consumption. Where to go is always a question because There'seach hot spot comes with its own vibe, favorite cocktails and dress code. Where might you fit in? We've got a few suggestions.

      Brilliantshine

      The...

    • Wacky fusion burgers, smothered fries and boba milk tea at Bachi Burger
      Wacky fusion burgers, smothered fries and boba milk tea at Bachi Burger

      Name of restaurant: Bachi Burger. It's meant to refer to both a Japanese habachi grill, and "bachi," which can refer to karma in Japanese. 

      Concept: It's a Las Vegas burger joint that recently opened Southern California outlets on Sawtelle Boulevard and in Old Town Pasadena. The restaurant is known...

    • Freebie alert: Free Blaze pizza in Canoga Park, $1 tacos at Komodo Venice
      Freebie alert: Free Blaze pizza in Canoga Park, $1 tacos at Komodo Venice

      Blaze Pizza, the chain known for its build-your-own pies, is opening a new location in Canoga Park on Wednesday. To celebrate, the restaurant is giving away free pizzas Thursday at the new location. From 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., anyone who follows Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook can...

    • Chef Ricardo Diaz is opening 2 new restaurants, starting this weekend
      Chef Ricardo Diaz is opening 2 new restaurants, starting this weekend

      Chef Ricardo Diaz is known for lying relatively low in the Los Angeles food world, even though he's responsible for some of your favorite tacos and tortas -- as the founder of Guisados and Cook’s Tortas -- and he hails from the Angeleno family responsible for the retro-favorite El Siete Mares Mexican...

    • Celebrate Repeal Day with $1 cocktails and free moonshine
      Celebrate Repeal Day with $1 cocktails and free moonshine

      Friday is Repeal Day, a time to shake up a couple of martinis and celebrate the end of Prohibition. For those who may need to brush up on their history, on Dec. 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages....

    • Blackhouse Hospitality to open Little Sister in DTLA and a steakhouse in Hermosa
      Blackhouse Hospitality to open Little Sister in DTLA and a steakhouse in Hermosa

      Jed Sanford and chef Tin Vuong of Blackhouse Hospitality, the folks behind Little Sister, Abigaile, Wildcraft and Dia de Campo, plan to open a second Little Sister in downtown L.A., as well as a steakhouse in Hermosa Beach next year. 

      The downtown outlet of Little Sister is slated to open late...

    • Almond burrata, biodynamic wines at Plant Food and Wine, opening soon in Venice
      Almond burrata, biodynamic wines at Plant Food and Wine, opening soon in Venice

      Matthew Kenney, the chef and author behind Santa Monica's plant-based restaurant M.A.K.E., will open Plant Food and Wine on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice in early 2015. The restaurant will open in the space now occupied by Axe. 

      The restaurant will serve a rotating menu of seasonal, plant-based...

    • Four food and wine events: Bubbly, Bordeaux, white truffles and more
      Four food and wine events: Bubbly, Bordeaux, white truffles and more

      Calendar not yet completely full for the next couple of weeks? Good. To fill in those blanks, here are some possibilities tailored for food and wine lovers.

      Champagne & Alsace tasting 

      On Thursday Dec. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., the luxe Beverly Hills wine shop Héritage Fine Wines hosts a tasting of Champagne...

    • Five questions for Cadet chef Kris Tominaga
      Five questions for Cadet chef Kris Tominaga

      Kris Tominaga is the executive chef at Cadet, a new French restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. He started his career in the culinary arts program at Boston University, then went on to work at L’Espalier in Boston with James Hackney.

      Tominaga moved to Los Angeles and worked as sous-chef...

    • At Scopa, Antonia Lofaso delivers zesty Italian American food
      At Scopa, Antonia Lofaso delivers zesty Italian American food

      It's pleasant, Saturday brunch at Scopa Italian Roots, a bit of calm compared with the roar of nearby Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The filtered sunlight in the double-height dining room feels like late afternoon, although it is just after noon. Big tables of neighborhood regulars, so loud late in the...

    • Dining and coffee break ideas for Southern California holiday shoppers
      Dining and coffee break ideas for Southern California holiday shoppers

      Holiday shopping is not for wimps. Given that it's among the most strenuous and exacting activities on the planet, you, the one staring with glazed eyes at a very long list, will need sustenance. Sometimes a quick bite is all that's needed. Other times you'll want to put those bags down beside...

    • 3 December food and wine events: Mark Peel, Alain Giraud and a wine festival
      3 December food and wine events: Mark Peel, Alain Giraud and a wine festival

      Recovered from Thanksgiving? Good. Because here comes another round of food and wine events. Early December’s lineup includes a wine dinner at Maison Giraud with wines from the Ojai Vineyard and Santa Barbara's weekend wine festival “Key to Wine Country.”  

      First up, Mark Peel, late of Campanile...

    • Hostaria del Piccolo cooks an entirely black menu for Black Friday
      Hostaria del Piccolo cooks an entirely black menu for Black Friday

      You have to give Hostaria del Piccolo credit for innovation. On Nov. 28, in honor of Black Friday (you know, the shopping tradition in which you camp out in the wee hours of the morning in front of a big-box store), the West Hollywood trattoria is offering a special Black Friday menu.

      And every...

    • Want a free vegan Thanksgiving dinner? Cafe Gratitude will hook you up
      Want a free vegan Thanksgiving dinner? Cafe Gratitude will hook you up

      Every year, Cafe Gratitude, true to its name, hosts a free Thanksgiving dinner at its Venice location. Next Thursday, the vegan restaurant will be offering a holiday dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — or until the food runs out — on a first-come, first-serve basis.

      This is the 11th year Cafe Gratitude...

    • The flat white, or how to order a cup of coffee like Russell Crowe
      The flat white, or how to order a cup of coffee like Russell Crowe

      The flat white -- that espresso-and-milk drink that is as ubiquitous to Antipodean culture as meat pies and Lamingtons -- is having something of a moment in Los Angeles. You can, with increasing frequency, find it on the menu boards at specialty coffee shops around the city, from Coffee + Food...

    • After 18 years, JiRaffe is closing
      After 18 years, JiRaffe is closing

      After 18 years, Raphael Lunetta has decided to close JiRaffe, the French bistro in Santa Monica he founded with then-partner Josiah Citrin.

      In a letter sent to the restaurant’s faithful patrons, Lunetta wrote that “JiRaffe has grown and now it is time to let him go.”

      “When Josiah [Citrin] and I...

    • New superfood cafes opening in L.A. area — with DIY porridge
      New superfood cafes opening in L.A. area — with DIY porridge

      In sunny Southern California, nothing says the holidays like a new superfood cafe. Beaming, an organic, superfood cafe from San Diego, is opening locations in Brentwood on Monday, and in Santa Monica on Dec. 15. The cafe is known for its cold pressed juices, superfood smoothies and plant-based...

    • Where to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau on Thursday
      Where to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau on Thursday

      Each November, on the third Thursday of the month, the French giddily celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau. That’s when the fresh, fruity Gamay from the new vintage is rushed from the vineyards into shops and wine bars in Paris and elsewhere across France. On that day, it’s almost obligatory to pick up...

    • Restaurant owner, parent company plead guilty in sale of whale meat
      Restaurant owner, parent company plead guilty in sale of whale meat

      The parent company and owner of a Santa Monica restaurant pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges stemming from serving meat from the endangered Sei whale to undercover investigators in 2009 and 2010.

      Typhoon Restaurant Inc. and owner Brian Vidor each pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sale...

    • No good bagels in L.A.? Think again -- here are 7 great ones
      No good bagels in L.A.? Think again -- here are 7 great ones

      It’s not easy to get a great bagel in Southern California. It's easy enough to get a bagel, but too many of them are just bread in another shape, by another name.

      But it’s not impossible. There are a handful of shops that turn out solid, satisfying bagels, and a few that make genuinely delicious...

    • Bryan Podgorski brings beets and Thomas Keller's influence to Tanzy
      Bryan Podgorski brings beets and Thomas Keller's influence to Tanzy

      Bryan Podgorski is the chef at Tanzy, a new Italian restaurant in Westwood with outlets in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Boca Raton, Fla. He started his culinary career by making pasta at a small restaurant in Northern California more than two decades ago. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College...

    • Smoked fish is the prized catch at Pete's, Gjusta and Petrossian
      Smoked fish is the prized catch at Pete's, Gjusta and Petrossian

      Whenever I used to get a hankering for smoked fish, I'd indulge myself at Barney Greengrass at Barneys in Beverly Hills with smoked sturgeon, sable and Nova salmon. Now that the New York deli has retreated home, where else could I find some great smoked fish? Pétrossian, of course, is a classic,...

    • A pair of truffle dinners and a truffle festival
      A pair of truffle dinners and a truffle festival

      Now that we’re heading full tilt into truffle season, here are a few more places where you can get your truffle hits until the truffles run out.

      At Aussie chef Curtis Stone’s 25-seat Maude in Beverly Hills, November’s tasting menu is built around truffles. The nine-course meal showcases French...

    • Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best
      Banh mi goes gourmet; here's 11 of Los Angeles' best

      The latest wave of sandwich shops (Hero Shop, Superba Food + Bread, Trencher) and modern Vietnamese cafes (East Borough, Phorage) in Los Angeles have generated tantalizing new spins on banh mi, the beloved Vietnamese sandwich that is the culinary result of French colonialism in Southeast Asia.

      ...

    • Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu
      Five Chinese restaurants where MSG isn't on the menu

      Monosodium glutamate: Love it or hate it? Some people are convinced it’s toxic, though there isn't much science behind that claim. Others compare it with table salt.

      Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s no secret that MSG is used heavily in restaurants – especially in traditional Chinese...

    • The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza
      The A to Z of Los Angeles pizza

      In celebration of National Pizza Day, here's a run-down of Los Angeles pizza, including go-to delivery spots, Chicago-style, New York-style, Neapolitan-style and New York-Naples hybrids. Here's where to get your gooey, cheesy, melty, crispy- and/or chewy-crusted pizza fix.

      800 Degrees Neapolitan...

    • Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.
      Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in L.A.

    • 9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now
      9 great breakfast sandwiches plus one killer burrito to try now

      A perfectly balanced breakfast sandwich the size of your head goes a long way toward improving the prospects of almost any day. (And there’s nothing like it for curing a hangover.) It has to have melted cheese, protein (preferably crisp bacon), eggs (of course) and bread (from tortilla to loaf,...

    • 28 great L.A. bakeries
      28 great L.A. bakeries

      Maybe it was the rise of kouign amann -- the uber-buttery, caramelized "it" pastry from Brittany -- and better access to fresh-baked baguettes that lately has helped reinvigorate an Angeleno culture of neighborhood bakeries, all butter and sugar and love.

      There's a bakery out there to suit any...

    • The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner
      The great L.A. coffee scene: Your dream caffeine fix may be just around the corner

      You're a coffee fiend keeping track of every new specialty coffee shop that opens in L.A.? With one new cafe opening after another, it's not so easy anymore. But it is a lot easier to come across a great brewed coffee or perfect pull of espresso, whether in south Santa Monica or North Hollywood,...

    • 5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)
      5 best not-Cronuts in L.A. (and a map that includes all the rest)

      It's easy to succumb to a faux-Cronut addiction. Intrigued by a meta-pastry trend, I've eaten every version of the croissant-doughnut hybrid in Los Angeles that I could find, from Spudnuts in Canoga Park to DK's Donuts in Santa Monica.

      I've had the original Cronut, the "half-croissant, half doughnut"...

    • Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix
      Falafel! 6 great places to get your fried-garbanzo fix

      There's an art to making falafel so that the ground garbanzo beans are perfectly light and fluffy, the exterior crisp but not greasy, the mix of textures and spices habit-forming.

      Falafel's exact origins are unknown, but it's believed to have started in Egypt, then made its way through the Middle...

    • MSG-free bowl
      No MSG, no worries

    • Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.
      Cold-pressed juice, hot in L.A.

      Shortly after Chipper Pastron opened the first Juice Farm in Pasadena in January, a developer asked if he'd be interested in setting up another in the same neighborhood. No way, Pastron said, thinking there wouldn't be enough demand.

      Six months in and he and his partners are negotiating a space...

    • L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard
      L.A. restaurants: Top 13 spots on hotter-than-ever Sawtelle Boulevard

      The stretch of Sawtelle Boulevard often referred to as Little Osaka recently has expanded so quickly that it's bursting beyond its traditional boundaries. With so many new restaurant openings, they're popping up north of Santa Monica Boulevard and south of Olympic. 

      Shin Sen Gumi officially opened...

    • Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix
      Chicken karaage list: 6 great places to get your fried fix

      Chicken karaage, the Japanese version of fried chicken, is addictive. Unlike its American cousin, karaage are boneless, cut small and mostly dark meat. It's easy to pop five into your mouth in quick succession. The coating, made of potato starch, is light, almost paper thin and delicate. And the...

    • Best banh mi sandwiches
      Best banh mi sandwiches

    • Where to find the best bibimbap
      Where to find the best bibimbap

      Several locations specialize in the many varieties of the favorite Korean mixed-rice dish.

    • Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook
      Easy dinner ideas from the Los Angeles Times California Cookbook

      99 EASY DINNER RECIPES to help you when you need something fast.

    • The $10,000 martini
      The $10,000 martini

      The $10,000 martini from Vaucluse is literally on the rock - a one-carat, rough cut diamond added to the drink.

    • The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season
      The hunt's on: Three restaurants deep into game this season

      Critic's Choice: Josie Restaurant, Patina at Disney Hall and Saddle Peak Lodge are there to indulge your hankering for wild boar, elk, quail and other manner of game.

    • 25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more
      25 Cinco de Mayo recipes: Guacamole, tostadas, chiles rellenos and more

      Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with recipes for margaritas and tacos and other great fare. Avocado tips: Best way to get unbruised avocado

    • Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets
      Three L.A. restaurants that are good brunch bets

      Critic's Choice: Bucato, Girasol and Farmshop are three L.A. restaurants that know how to do brunch right, which can be a lifesaver when you have houseguests.

    • Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California
      Places to eat for $5 or less in Southern California

      Dining out for $5 or less may seem like a fantasy, but Southern California has much to offer for those on a tight budget. For affordable Vietnamese fare, venture to Garden Grove. Or look to food trucks for inexpensive eats. Even some pricier restaurants offer cheap eats during happy hours.

    • Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.
      Pancakes, on a grand or silver-dollar scale, in L.A.

      Critic's Choice: Pancakes are an American comfort food favorite. Three L.A. eateries offer terrific examples: Cooks County, Valerie and Axe.

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