New Santa Monica Restaurants
We dined at Rustic Canyon on Saturday evening. The wine list was good and the wait staff was polite. The menu is not up to the hype. Appetizers were uninspired when they should have been great (sounded good on the menu). The rest of the meal was downhill from there. Thank goodness the wine was adequate. On a scale of 1-5 stars, we would give it 2.
We were very dissapointed with our food. Any restaurant should be able to do a decent job with bread, ceasar salad and pasta. At Scarboni prices they should absolutely hit these culinary basics out of the park. Both kinds of bread were chewy, not in a good way, with tough, not crunchy crusts. Maybe it was good when it was fresh. The salad was overwhelmed by the mediocre dressing, greasy with no depth of flavor. The lettuce was not crispy, especially the brown pieces. The lobster in the ravioli was identifiable only by texture, not taste. The rigatonni Siciliana was thick with mozarella that added more chew than taste. I was glad to see the ricotta inside with the eggplant, but ricotta alone does not create the rich falvor and creaminess that is expected.
The wine (chianti) was served too warm, warmer than room temperature.
The service was friendly.
Good food is worth the price. Give me an excuse to splurge and I'll take it. But at half Scarboni prices I wouldn't go back. There are plenty of other restaurants in Santa Monica.
We ate at Scarboni last night. Very nice decor and the service was very good. Reminded me of a good New York restaurant.. Every thing was a la carte. All at $10 bucks each.. everything is extra except the bread which is great. Also thought the mixed drinks were skimpy.. When you are paying 12 bucks for a drink they should let their wrists be a little limp and pour a drink.. We had fish which had to do back, too well done. Chicken parmesan was burnt on the bottom, two for two.. The ribeye was great. They were very nice and replace the two bad dishes with replacements.
All in all the price was steep for so so food but the service was good..
I dont know how soon I would be going back there.
We were at Scarboni last night as well. Main room. Nice booth. It was our second time. Last night the restaurant was 2/3 to 3/4 full at 7:30 p.m. A few weeks back when we went there, it had a lot more people and buzz. Here's our dinner from last night:
Good service from the waiters. We split a caesar salad to start -- very ordinary and it wasn't chilled, as I like it. Can't beat the Caesar salad at Dan Tana's. I like to order a glass of chardonney and two of the three choices by the glass were not available because the wine purveyor had allegedly not delivered the wines. The one that was available was the most expensive per glass at $15.
The entrees: I ordered the 10 oz. filet, dry aged, medium, but it came cool--it was not served hot or even warm. I asked for no salt or butter on it, so it was a little bit dry, but a good quality cut and delicious. Just would have been better if it came hot. My husband ordered the salmon. It was farm raised from Puget Sound. I didn't care for the flavor of it. My husband thought it was just okay and cooked with too much oil. For the price, he thought it should have been wild. It was cooked perfectly though.
Sides: We ordered steamed asparagus that appeared oily. It was the thin asparagus and overly-cooked--Limp. The onion rings were big, overly-battered and greasy. They were not quite crispy enough. We love the onion rings at Cut -- in fact, the best I've ever had. The baked potato, which we split, came cool -- not hot. They salt the skin. It was okay.
Overall, for such a pricey restaurant, it falls short.
The bar is a happening place -- looks like a fun place to meet for a drink. I just don't think that the restaurant, unless they make some changes, will make it in the long run. Also, we didn't see the owner this time. The food quality just is not that good and it's expensive.
From, Bite Me!
I believe the sides were $8-$16. All the potato sides were $8 if I remember. Salads were around the same.
The steaks looked good..huge cuts of meat. The price is about the same as Boa...if not a few $ more. Scarboni is more Palm than Boa. I wasn't in the space before, but I don't think they made major changes...new red leather booths, but all wood, tile looks original. Just a quirk of mine...the bathrooms still had the ash tray...thought it was interesting they decided to keep.
My take, the cost is going to push a lot of the locals away from Scarboni - may attract tourists, but they don't have the name like a Ruth Chris or Palm...let's see what happens.
I don't remember cheesecake...I skimmed the desserts (with Thanksgiving and all). They did have some great after dinner drinks...lots of Scotch.
By the way, the front bar is gone...replaced with seating. There is a bar to the right...about 10-15 spots. The back room can also be used a private dinning room.
Just finished dinner at Scarboni...have been anticipating their open since I drive by everyday on my way to work. We wanted to check out the place, but didn't want to drop $$$ for steak - we went for the Rigatoni ($18) and Kobe Burger ($22). Both excellent. The tiramisu for dessert was excellent. They also serve Illy coffee. The menu is classic steak house - $40-$50 entree for steaks. Seafood $26-30. All sides are ala carte. The bottles of wine are reasonably priced - not the typical restaurant mark-up. The service still needs to be ironed out, but our waitress was friendly and personable. I felt like I was in NYC vs. Santa Monica. I love the original woods throughout the space...has classic character. It's great to have a "real" restaurant on the Westside.
$40-$50 for a steak...hmmmm...that is top $$$$...i'm trying to remember the prices at BOA...i think they were about the same...maybe a little lower....but it is definitely more of a trendy place...do you remember the prices of the sides...and are they the standard - cream spinach, cream corn....anything unique as far as sides...and the desserts...you mention tiramisu...did they have the standards - cheesecake....creme brulee..etc
The wood on the walls, bar area, etc. has been there for over 20 years - where have you been? It was just called Pentola and the Darwin before that and it was you that did not know it.
Now at $40+ for a steak, and all of a sudden wood is discovered to be the big "classic character" kind of place.
Glad to hear you enjoyed the food, though.
Wish you had tried the steak, though, as it is supposed to be a mirror-image of those sold at the Palm in Weho, where the co-owner formerly worked.