Our most exciting discovery was a group of restaurants that I found while googling best breakfasts in Santa Monica. They feature local produce, meat and artisan baked goods, most of which is organic. The search had led me to Huckleberry, a bakery and café on Wilshire Blvd not too far from our hotel. It was our favorite breakfast that we had while we were there. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures that day (it was very early) but if you are in the area, it is one that you should not miss. We enjoyed a few different pastries along with hot breakfast dishes like the poached eggs and market vegetable bowl with basil pesto and
Also serving breakfast in this group is Milo & Olive, a restaurant I had on my list for a potential pizza night. We didn't end up doing that but we did enjoy a late breakfast/brunch there one morning which they serve from 7-11 AM daily. I enjoyed the creamy polenta and poached eggs with braised bacon bits and baby greens. They also make a breakfast pizza that looked phenomenal, we were sorry that we hadn't ordered that when we saw it. They serve breakfast cocktails along with choice of a sparkling wines in addition to a menu of espresso drinks. The lunch/dinner options looked very inviting, too.
We did have a late dinner one night at their first restaurant, the Rustic Canyon, a seasonal restaurant and wine bar. The Flannery cote de boeuf served with French fries and green pepper corn sauce was quite large and very tasty. We shared that dish along with a few other small plates.
We were impressed with all three of these restaurants from this group and they have more as well. Don't miss an opportunity to check them out if you are in the area, I will be visiting the others on my next visit.
Our favorite dinner in Santa Monica was actually outside of that group at Michael's, one of the city's quintessential dining establishments. We were seated at a table in their Garden, a mostly enclosed patio room full of plants and soft lights. I had a primarily vegetable based meal that evening along with some sparkling wine from the Loire Valley. The food was beautifully prepared and delicious, the service was exceptional and the ambience was enchanting. Reservations are a must, the restaurant remained full the entire night.
Another spot that we enjoyed was the more casual Blue Plate Oysterette on Ocean Ave. We had done a bit of a walking tour of Santa Monica and spotted the seafood towers on the patio. Steadily busy while we were in the area, we made a reservation to come back later that evening. It was a bit chilly that night so we opted to eat inside. My daughter and I shared this seafood tower with a little help from my husband and she and I also split the chopped kale salad. Good food, but it was crowded and noisy, it may be more enjoyable with the views on the patio by day.
Another honorable mention is Charcoal Venice on Washington Blvd. Though it is not technically in Santa Monica, its location on Washington Blvd is not too far. It has a meat centric menu perfect for carnivores with a good wine list and friendly service.
All of these restaurants are highly recommended!