Olivia Dish

Santa Monica Meals & Deals

In California, Local Flavor, Restaurant on September 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

Sometimes when you are traveling for work, you’re grateful to dine in the hotel.  And sometimes, if you don’t get out and enjoy the local sights a bit, you feel as if you’re being cheated somehow.  Lucky for me, in Santa Monica I managed to do a little of both.

It helps when your hotel (The Viceroy) has a fun restaurant with good food and a great wine deal.  Monday and Tuesday nights, wines at Whist are $25 a bottle. So, of course, my colleague  Hallie Butter and I had a bottle of wine, a delicious Pinot Grigio, Livio Felluga from Italy.  Our meal was good too–I had scallops prepared with crispy chunks of pancetta; Hallie (as she so often does, go figure) had halibut–pistachio encrusted on a bed of creamed spinach.


Black rice risotto, steak frites

The next night we ventured over to Wilshire Boulevard for dinner at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar, a restaurant I’d found through the Animal website.

This time, we shared a fantastic salad, flavorful local lettuce mixed with pears, walnuts, and blue cheese.  The couple at the next table recommended the black rice risotto, which Hallie ordered.  I, experiencing french fry envy after seeing the mound on their table, went for the steak frites.  The black rice risotto was magical;  nutty, chewy, smoky, smooth.  The flatiron steak was good and the french fries were delicious.

Whist Outdoor Dining at the Viceroy

Outdoors at Whist

On our last night in town, we found ourselves back at Whist, joined this time by a friend who lives in Los Angeles.  Instead of feeling like defeat, settling for dinner at the hotel felt like a treat.  We camped out poolside in wing chairs, put our feet up, had a drink from the bar and a bit of white bean hummus.  Then we nabbed a table and following Hallie’s lead, I had the halibut.  It was good–moist white fish set off nicely with that crispy pistachio crust.  I preferred my meal at Rustic Canyon but Hallie declared the meals at Whist her favorites.

At any rate, Tuesday night wine at Whist is a can’t miss, if you’re in Santa Monica.  And I hear Friday happy hour is something to behold too–drink prices all afternoon match the hour, so at 2pm have yourself a $2 cocktail.  By the pool.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: