Thanks to my Dad, Wiley and I are able to go on weekly date nights. We love and cherish these evenings as it’s a rare time that we both get to eat a leisurely dinner, have long conversations, enjoy some cocktails, and let loose. Here – in no particular order – are some places we’ve gone to recently in Santa Monica that we LOVED.
We love this little East Hampton-inspired seafood spot in Santa Monica. We usually get the dozen oysters, a caesar salad each (it’s SO good), a side of fries with Old Bay seasoning, and one more dish that we like switch up every time we go.
Élephante is a SUPER trendy restaurant in Santa Monica with the perfect sunset and ocean views. It is the perfect spot to have a very good but very expensive craft cocktail while eating some pretty insane Coastal Italian food. Their food is so good and I really did love everything. The stand out items for me were the whipped eggplant appetizer to start (similar to a humms and SO good), the insalata tricolore salad, the cacio e pepe pizza, broccolini, and the tiger prawns. For dessert, do not miss the chocolate torta – it is SO good!
We loved the atmosphere though after sunset it can get a bit loud and dark inside. If you want to get the most of it go an hour and a half before sunset so you can eat dinner with plenty of light (not only to see your food but to take it all in – it’s truly a beautifully designed space) and then stay for an after dinner cocktail if you’re in the mood once it gets more “trendy bar scene”. Also, make sure to get seated in the back room with the ocean views and bar – so much prettier. Also – make a reservation! They tend to book up quickly so make it in advance.
Forma is an stylish and intimate Italian restaurant and cheese bar on Montana. The food is comforting and rich and everything we ordered we loved, but their star dish is the cacio e pepe pasta that is made by hand and then tossed in a giant Parmesan cheese wheel. When you go, definitely walk over to that area and watch them for a bit. It’s mesmerizing to see them scrape and toss the hot pasta in an enormous cheese bowl. Makes it taste that much better when you watch them do it.If you love Italian, I highly recommend stopping in for some dinner and wine.