Just adjacent from the Santa Monica Pier on the busiest intersection of the little city-by-the-sea, Del Frisco’s Grille from the Bay Area has opened to offer day trippers and sun downers creative bar bites and cocktails. One of our favorites is the Philly cheese steak in a fried egg roll – trust us, it’s a work of late night snacking genius, so is the Red Velvet Belgian waffle or chicken fried steak & eggs with Chorizo gravy. Lighter appetites can try a variety of flatbreads, salads or ahi tuna tacos.
Over on 2nd Street, Michael Cardenas of Sushi Roku fame has brought a fun Tapas bar to the city. From the ‘Buenos’ greeting as if you just walked into a sushi bar to the wine barrel tables and deer antler chandelier, the vibe at Taberna is grab a red pepper or honey grapefruit sangria and an order of tuna crudo, crispy pig ears and Valencia paella with rabbit leg while you wait for traffic to clear. They have amazing week day happy hour specials as well to keep you entertained.
Canadian transplant Redwood Grille is on the top floor of Santa Monica Place, and right next door to The Market food hall. It’s a bit more upscale with massive steaks, seafood, an impressive wine cellar and a management team from Toronto. According to Vice President & CEO George Bozikis, “The front lounge area is New York, the mid-section dining room is Ralph Lauren polo country and the back patio is South Beach.” No matter what part of the country you choose to dine in, expect tasty lobster tacos, ahi tuna tartar with avocado and crispy Greek-style octopus with Kalamata olives, along with strong, sipping martinis.
For a family night out with the kids, that doesn’t require a clown, happy meal or a short-stack, Truxton’s from El Segundo has opened a sister location a little further up the road around 13th Street and Santa Monica Blvd. Order monkey bread with a choice of dipping sauces, hand rolled brisket taquitos, pizzas, burgers and Chinese chicken salad. The atmosphere is laid back but the menu and wines by the glass are impressive for this type of low-key dining and should be a welcome addition to the neighborhood for adults too.
Lastly, The Water Grill seafood institution from downtown LA has opened a second branch on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. The open air front dining area is a great perch for watching the sunset with a cocktail and a nibble from the raw bar or a fish taco. For dinner, looking into the lobster by the pound, the extensive wine list and a cozy table in the back room.