Tonight 4 of us dined at Violet in Santa Monica. Our overall impression was interesting concept but not wowed by the food. In fact, we found most of it underseasoned. Service was a bit disorganized, which I found surprising for a place that's been open for a while.
We tried quite a few items on the menu, taking some hints from our server. Standouts included the seasoned fries, mussels which were small but excellent- wish they had thought to bring bread along with it, the crab salad with fennel,the flourless chocolate cake and and lemon tart. Major disappointments were the main course dishes such as the white fish and the pork scallopini- mostly because they were so underseasoned. The short rib was good, not fantastic, the mac and cheese was disappointing- couldn't find any serrano ham, the beet salad with eel didn't work for me at all, nor did the grilled lettuce which was ridiculous to try and split.
That brings me to another gripe. We were constantly looking for serving spoons or forks. They encourage sharing of the plates but don't offer the utensils with which to do it!
We had 3 glasses of wine (excellent choices suggested by our waiter) and one ale, 3 watery coffees and the bill came to $175. Not a cheap evening, but an interesting experience. Too bad we all felt most dishes were underseasoned, we probably won't return. Judging by the number of tables that were filled, they won't miss us!