An exceptional meal. It was my first time there, had always wanted to go. Mum's 60th birthday seemed the perfect occasion.
I always assumed the entrance was in the front off of Little SM Blvd but it's in the back off an alley, which gives it a feeling of a great little hideaway, you simply can't believe you are sitting right on Little Santa Monica. The feeling inside is sunny and elegant, but not stuffy. Staff exhibiting the perfect level of attentiveness, not overly, just right.
My heart skipped a beat when our server mentioned one of the appetizer specials was a FRESH hearts of palm of salad. So I got to enjoy another first, FRESH hearts of palm (not from a can!). It was served with chopped egg white and a white truffle vinaigrette which was so tasty I wanted to lick the plate. Two others at the table enjoyed a special sardine salad that was 3 big sardine pieces served with some caviar and potato salad.
For my main I enjoyed a Roasted Whole Baby Rack of Lamb extremely tasty, perfectly prepared. The others at the table enjoyed New York Steak, Roasted Black Angus Filet of Beef and a terrific duck which I tasted and highly recommend (Half of a White Pekin Duck Cooked two ways served with a Black Currant Honey Sauce, Wild Huckleberries, and Braised Cabbage).
For dessert the table shared their famous chocolate soufflé, a definite hit, and a chocolate lava cake, the only real miss of the night. The table wanted chocolate, but next time I will need to try a tart tatin.
The bill for 6 was about $400, which included each an appetizer for each, main course for each and 2 split desserts. Also included in that total were about 5 cokes and 3 coffees. There was no wine ordered so I can't speak to the merits of the wine list as I do not partake.
I look forward to going back with my husband and partaking in a chef's tasting menu, the party we were with is generally pretty simple when it comes to food and unsophisticated (my brother didn't even know you could ask a restaurant to split a bill between several credit cards) and they wouldn't have really appreciated the tasting menu.
They are doing some terrific looking fixed menus for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve that if you are looking for a nice place to spend either evening, you should give them a call and have them fax the menu to you. They aren't posted on their website yet.