A business lunch companion proposed Violet in Santa Monica today (my fourth visit and my first for lunch). Arrived right at 11:30am with no reservation to see the chef/owner inspecting the dining room - always a good sign. An hour and a half later when we left, the restaurant was almost full - no small feat in any restaurant the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
I'm happy to report that the hamburger is alive and well on the Westside, with Father's Office earning it's reputation, a tasty version at Nook and, one of the best anywhere, at Violet. At $8 it comes on a toasted roll with a garlic aioli, carmelized onions and gruyere. Fries are another $5 but it's a generous order and two of us couldn't finish them. My friend's mushroom ravioli with browned butter and sage was delicious at $8.50 and we left happy and full. After four visits, it's reassuring to see that Violet continues to be about the details: a rapidly replaced napkin after one is dropped on the floor; water, iced tea and coffee refills continuously offered. As J. Gold recently reported in The Weekly this is a true neighborhood bistro run by someone who cares.