And much to my chagrin, liked it!
I live in the Main Street district of Santa Monica, and have observed the building, opening, and re-opening of the local branch of the Urth Cafe with some serious distrust. I'm not sure why, exactly, but something about the place has made me squinch up my face and scurry on by in search of other good eats.
Tonight, I finally deigned to cross its threshold,and despite my churlishness, actually enjoyed a very pleasant meal on the outdoor patio. I had the Mediterranean Platter ($13), which may sound a little pricey, but was tasty and filling and very nicely presented. Three slabs of feta cheese, a dozen mixed olives, a healthy scoop of humus, a generous plate of warm pita bread, really nicely-done artichoke hearts and yellow bell peppers, and a scoop of a tabouli-esque grain (big round grains, not sure of the specific type). The tabouli-esque item was damned good and refreshing.
In my ignorance, I committed the faux-pas of trying to order Diet Coke (sorry, only natural sodas on offer), but was appeased with a nice snifter of black tea.
All in all, a surprisingly pleasant early-evening meal. My companion and I lingered for a good hour-plus, with just the right amount of service from the staff. This is a place where you get in line, order at the counter, take a number, and seat yourself, so I was surprised that there was any tableside service.
So, I stand corrected!