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Bruno's on Ocean in Santa Monica?

I live in SM and I have been invited to dinner at Bruno's. I have never heard of this place and I am wondering if any chowhounds have been there of late. I looked it up and did not find any recent posts...what does the board think?

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  1. i think PaulF rec'd this joint for old school italian, very cool wiseguy vibe supposedly too, it's about a block or so away from the SM Pier along Ocean Ave.

    red sauce italian, nothing noveau here.

    1. i'm just saying what someone else on these boards has said before.

      have not been there myself. (in the same way that Rao's in East Harlem has a wiseguy atmosphere).

      1. I cannot find a Web site for them. Do you know where I can see their menu?

        1. Went to Bruno's last night. The place is charming, old school italian cafe. The ceasar salad was good, authentic enough that there were egg whites on the bottom of my bowl, kinda gross. I ordered the eggplant parm with a side of spaghetti. the tomatoe sauce was bitter, not good at all. The bread was fresh. I didn't order the antipasto salad beause our waiter said it was mostly cold cuts which I do not like. My husband said his linguine with clam sauce was not particularly memorable and our host had veal which he boasted about but he was the one who invited us here and seems to love it. Will I be rushing back? Probably never.

          1. Bruno runs the joint-old school Italian;very low key, locals love, great pizza-no real wine list, but a well established locals, easy in- easy out, carafe wine...I eat there alot!

            1 Reply
            1. re: barbara Rose

              We used to eat there weekly. We would see the same diners each week and got to know the wait staff (like two people!). We found it to be a good neighborhood restaurant with good pizza and pasta with red sauces. In recent years, it has not seemed as good to me and in fact, we have stopped going there. It is unfortunate because Bruno was always so nice and accomodating with our kids who we started taking there when they were very little.

            2. Is this Bruno's by any chance related to the one that used to be on Centinela near Venice in Mar Vista?

              1 Reply
              1. re: monkuboy

                That was my question. I used to go to the Mar Vista location all of the time.

                Miss it.

              2. I drive past here every day and never have been there. How is it for lunch?

                1 Reply
                1. re: gsw

                  The Bruno's in Santa Monica on Ocean and Pico is NOT related to the old Bruno's on Centinela-

                2. i was looking around santa monica for a new place and found bruno’s website , the place is italian vibe and our waitress was very cool. me and my girlfriend ate some great pasta dish, salad and drank red wine and when we left the bill was under $40, a great meal for a great price (we're students). definitely going back! i found bruno’s on the web at http://www.brunossantamonica.com

                  1. I stopped by once a while back, and haven't returned. I got a plate of pasta and marinara -- how can you screw that up, right? Well, the noodles were acceptable, but the sauce was overly sweet and ketchupy. The whole thing tasted like it had come out of a Chef Boyardee can.

                    We really need a checkered-tablecloth family-style Italian place in Santa Monica. Santa Monica Pizza Kitchen is okay as far as it goes, but it's really a pizza joint, not a restaurant.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Bjartmarr

                      Have you tried il Forno on Ocean Park Blvd.?

                      1. re: Servorg

                        No. Should I? From the looks of the website, it looks kind of upscale. The kind of place I'm jonesing for has has spaghetti and meatballs and eggplant parm on the menu, and smells like a garlic factory -- think Casa Bianca style menu and atmosphere. The food doesn't have to be fantastic, but a simple pasta dish shouldn't be much over $8. Basically, I'm looking for a place like Bruno's, but with better food.

                        We used to have places like that in Santa Monica 20 years ago (on Montana, no less!) but rising rents drove them out of business.

                      2. re: Bjartmarr

                        Have you been to La Vecchia Cucina or Vito's on Ocean Park?

                        My fave in the area though, truth be told, is Via Veneto, but that's much pricier. Fritto Misto ain't bad either.

                        1. re: Emme

                          No, I haven't been to LVC or Vito's either...though, from the looks of their menus, I don't think I'm really getting my point across. Thanks anyways, though.

                          There was a place I used to go in Cleveland, in the middle of Little Italy. It was dark inside, reeked of garlic, and dinner for two, with tax and tip, was under $20. Words like "carpaccio", "il primi", and "executive chef" just weren't part of the experience there.

                      3. i love brunos. they have a very simple menu, they do the italian classics, but they do them well. everytime i go i order the chicken parm, the chicken is huge, it takes up a whole plate. cheap house wine and cozy old world italian atmosphere add to the pluses. it's not the best food in the world, but it is definatly worth trying.