Spitfire Grill, Lately?
Has anyone visited Spitfire Grill, at the Santa Monica Airport, recently? The last time we were there (with a big group of families) it was a friendly place with fairly basic food. But looking at their website it appears they may have a bit more ambition now--items like "Chicken Curry Pasta, Peas, Cashews, and Cucumber Yogurt Relish" and "Beach Shrimp, Wrapped with Serrano Ham, Stuffed with Fresh Ranchero Cheese and Drizzled with Tomatillo Sauce" contend with standbys like meatloaf and burgers.
"Executive Chef" is Katsuji Tanabe, who I gather has been at a bunch of places around town and was a contestant on "Cooking Under Fire" (which I never saw). Intriguing, or dangerous? Any guidance?
I am a regular flying student and I think the food is great. Chef Tanabe has added a nice gourmet touch and most everyone seems happy. Maybe not some of the old fuddy-duddy's but the area has changed with new businesses, the park, and more and I think they needed to expand their offering as they have. I love the place.
My niece actually works at Spitfire Grill as a hostess on the weekends. Prior to the Chef Tanabe taking over, our family went there on a regular basis for the "comfort" food (i.e. meatloaf, chicken madera, etc.). My niece says that most of the "regulars" are no longer regular due to the menu change. Our family only goes to Spitfire during lunch because the lunch menu is the same. And yes, the garlic parmesan fries are great (however, the last time we ordered them, they were delivered to our table cold, and we had to send them back!),... also try the sweet potato fries, I don't usually like sweet potatoes as a rule, but I loved these! Anyway, perhaps Chef Tanabe will get the message and go back to serving the food that will make the "lost" regulars regular again. Does that make sense?
Spitfire Grill is still nothing to get excited about - the food is simply mediocre to OK. I wind up going because I get dragged there against my will when my nay vote is outnumbered by the group. Recently I had a decent grilled ham & swiss on rye, and the time before that was one pretty bad rendition of fish & chips that reminded me of Van de Kamp's frozen version. In fact, the fish tasted as though it had been frozen, batter and all. There is one outstanding thing though, and that is the garlic & parmesan fries. Other than that, expect to be underwhelmed.
I thought the food was great last time I went. I go weekly for Pilot classes. I think their evening food has gotten much better. I know they are getting great reviews. The business has really picked up. I like the fact they are adding a patio. Their Fish and Chips rock! Especially now! Maybe your should try it again. Their burgers are to die for!