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Santa Monica's Blue Plate is special

Last night, I was going to grab a healthy sandwich at the local "groovy" market (before my movie at the Aero), when I noticed the Blue Plate, apparently newly open for dinner. It looked like a minimalist neo-diner and I was intrigued by the blackboard menu. There was a little table waiting for one. The bill of fare was short and simple; main entrees = chicken, salmon and flank steak. However, I went for the turkey meatball bowl w/ rice and a side of sweet potato fries. The joint is a little small and almost cramped with small tables and small spaces, but it reminded me of Japanese noodle houses so I was okay with that.
The turkey meatballs were good, the spiced Italian sauce seemed fresh, not sugary but richly tomato-ey without being acidic or salty. The rice was brown I think and seemed quite healthy.
The bowl was filling and the delicious sweet potato fries were an order for two so I had way too much food.
The atmosphere was quite nice with a lot of local looking folks filling up many tables. The service was excellent; coolly professional and speedy but attentive. A celebrity sighting, too! Not cheap, but a great ambiance and food that I liked a lot. I will plan to go there again, next time I hit the Aero.

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  1. Whereabouts in Santa Monica (for those of us who don't know the 'Aero' as a point of reference)? And what celebrity was sighted, if I may ask (it's not like you're outing them at a lingerie store)?

    1 Reply
    1. re: silence9

      Blue Plate is at 1415 Montana.

      I have been here a few times for breakfast pre-remodel. I really liked their breakfast wrap, but it is a bit on the expensive side for what you get.

      I would like to try their soups some time, they always look good.

    2. Don't know who the celebrity was, but i do know that Blue Plate is on Montana around 14th. Glad to finally have a review as I've been meaning to try it.

      1. Can't opine to dinner, but had breakfast a few Saturdays ago. My omelette (and her scrambled eggs) must have been cooked with a blow torch. Eggs should be respected.

        1. Blue Plate has the best lentil soup in L.A. if you don't feel like making it yourself. Haven't had dinner there, but it's average priced for Montana avenue for lunch or breakfast, which means that it's pricey by normal standards.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kevin B

            best lentil soup is at Carnival on Woodman in Sherman Oaks.

          2. Gosh, I think it's pretty average, and they always get my order wrong. Not worth the (long) wait. I prefer Marmiton or Cafe Dana.

            More important - how was Running With Scissors?

            1. i wouldn't eat at Blue Plate. had the worst turkey chili ever there. my silverware wasn't clean. they were rude, the bathroom was filthy. not my idea of a place i'd entrust

              1 Reply
              1. re: yogachik

                My GF and I had ongoing problems with leftover lipstick on glasses and unclean silverware at the Olive Branch in Manhattan Beach. After several visits with complaints to the management were ignored we went to the Health Department Website and filed an online complaint.

                To our surprise we got an e-mail back saying they will check it out. Less than a week later we got another e-mail saying our complaint was verified and it was corrected. Great government service.

                This was over 6 months ago and the glasses and silverware have sparkled from then to today.

                Try it.

              2. I found Blue Plate on Tuesday night while going to the Aero to see SHE (WHO MUST BE OBEYED). I guess I was lucky to see available tables, didn't notice silverware problems, washroom was pristine with scented candle action going on, service was excellent, so I guess I was there on a good night. I noticed the price was high, but I had to eat in that neighborhood, so whaddya gonna do?
                As noted it's on north side of Montana a few doors east of 14th. The celebrity who I saw on the sidewalk not inside was Mel Brooks, who looked distracted or exasperated about something, talking on cell phone and in no mood to be confronted by a lurking stranger with a question about HIGH ANXIETY.

                1. Montana Ave restaurants baffle me. I can't understand why such high end clientele who would dine at Spago or Jiraffe tolerate the poor to mediocre fare/service in their own neighborhood. I had one lunch at Blue Plate 5 years ago and never cared to return. Not meaning to bash the other poster, I 'm glad your meal was good!

                  1. I agree w/ you compucook- the overall dining scene on montana is pretty dismal.
                    however, caffe luxxe serves one of the best espressos that i've had recently.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ostudio

                      Wow. Never even knew caffe luxxe existed. Is it expensive? Are the pastries made on site?

                      Blue Plate sucks, but is right on par with everything else on Montana.

                      Montana is probably the way it is because the residents want it that way. I mean there's a preschool there that costs more than college.

                      There's a new bakery right near on the same side of Pavillion, near Lincoln. Has anyone ever tried this place?

                      1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

                        caffe luxxe is fairly new to the montana scene, but as I said before it is won-der-ful.
                        check out the other threads. a cappucino is $3.50, double macchiatto $3.00, i think.
                        in terms of sweets, the pain du chocolate and blueberry muffin was very good, cookies were just o.k. (alittle too sweet for my palette).

                        1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

                          That bakery closed, already.
                          Cafe Luxxe, I believe, does not make their own baked goods. It's really just a spot for a real espresso.

                      2. 17th Street Cafe on Montana between 17th and 16th is quite pricey (like everyplace on Montana) but serves large portions, has very friendly, attentive service and the food is quite decent--they do a nice burger (for $10.50 or something with 2 sides I think) and great sweet potato fries. Most of the salads are pretty good. I live in the neighborhood, and this is my regular lunch spot. I don't think Blue Plate is nearly as good, although the lentil soup is acceptable, and it's such a small place that you just feel packed in. The dinner prices looked almost absurdly high to me when I went in to look at the menu on the board since their remodel.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ThatPat

                          this is true. i had a great salad there. infinitely better than blue plate, which i won't return to, no matter how clean some say it is.

                          + yes caffeluxxe is excellent

                        2. I love Blue Plate. Has a great egg white Frittata, delicious soups and one of the best BLT's in town. Cobb salad is outstanding. Not a fancy place, but the food is fresh, tasty and wel-seasoned. I like what they do with eggs. Wish their iced tea was a big stronger; very weak. Nice staff. Have never had an issue with cleanliness. Always looks clean to me. I also appreciate the light hand they have with salt.

                          1. i had one of the worst sandwiches and chilis at blue plate. then someone brought over
                            some leftovers from there and everything tasted lousy. even though i often pass it i won't go back.

                            people that are raised on campbell's soup or fast food etc, in a trendy place (+ a celebrity sighting) suddenly think they've discovered something.

                            cafe luxxe, however, is wonderful and everything Blue Plate isn't.

                            1. I've only been to Blue Plate once, but I've gotta agree with the dissenters. I had a really mediocre breakfast there. Even if it was more reasonably priced, I still don't think I would go back. Perhaps lunch/dinner is better, but I wouldn't recommend this place for breakfast.