HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Stefan's on Montana - What's the Deal?

I heard that Stefan's on Montana is open for business. But it doesn't have a website and an online menu is nowhere to be found. Does anyone have any details? There's a rumour that it's BYOB. True?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ha! I drove by this morning and was about to post the exact same question. Hopefully someone knows...

    5 Replies
      1. re: mollyomormon

        Molly, did this take over Cynthia's (Cynthia's on the Corner) space do you know?

          1. re: Servorg

            Wow! That is a tiny space. Sadly, nothing in that space has ever lasted long. I'm surprised Cynthia's was there such a brief time. Actually, as I think of it, not too surprising. Service was so slow even if the chicken was delicious. Stefan's seems to ambitious plans for that space. BL&D

            1. re: maudies5

              That space really seems to have a bit of a curse since the Grateful Bread was only there for a short time, too. I hope he can make it work if the food is good. It would always be nice to have more options on Montana.

        1. A friend and I had a late lunch there yesterday. The server said they have only been open since Monday.
          The lunch was heavy on salads and paninis w/ a few larger entrees. We asked the server for a reccomendation - she wasnt able to give one since she hadn't eaten a single thing on the menu!
          We decided to split a fried chicken panini and a pork sausage. The panini was a little bland - a little more seasoning or a zestier sauce would have helped. The pork sausage was fantastic. It was served w/a bread dumpling and really tasty sauerkraut. We also split a Nutella creme brulee for dessert - I love anything w/Nutella, but I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to creme brulee - I think this would have been better as a mousse.

          There are a few new restaurant kinks to work out - like having the staff taste the food - but I'll definitely go back in a few weeks.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Jaywalk

            Where on Montana? No address on website.

            1. re: maudies5

              Basically on the corner of 15th and Montana (1518).

              1. re: Servorg

                What's stephans?

                oh, and cynthia's on the corner is gone? I never got a chance to try that location of it. Is she relocating too? Did want some of that spicy fried chicken as well as the famous/infamous blackberry cobbler with french vanilla ice cream.

                1. re: kevin

                  It's the second, more casual restaurant by the same guy who own the LA Farm on Olympic Blvd. just west of Centinela on the Santa Monica / LA border.

                    1. re: kevin

                      Also, Stefan was a finalist on Top Chef the season before last.

                  1. re: kevin

                    I ate at Cynthia's once. Honestly, I was glad to see her gone. I had a table by the kitchen and watched how nasty she was to her bus staff. Just horribly rude to them and they were the only ones doing enough to make sure the tables were happy. I would have never gone back had they stayed around.

              2. re: Jaywalk

                So the creme brulee was like a Nutella "flavored" one, as in regular custard wtih Nutella mixed in? still bruleed with brown sugar?

                1. re: Emme

                  Exactly - Nutella flavored custard w/bruleed sugar on top.

              3. Stefans is indeed BYOB. Bring your wine, it goes in the back, and you are served out of paper cups, similar to take-away coffee. Their house, their rules, the wine drinker's loss.

                The food is a solid B for a 8am-8 pm open everyday cafe. The sausage for lunch is very good, made at The Farm. Weekend breakfast is a cluster of service issues, from 10 minutes to place and order, getting another table's food (happened twice), never getting a requested glass of water, and god forbid, a coffee refill. To make matters worse, Stefan gladhanded through the cafe w/o even realizing the service lapses or offering to pitch-in. I will forgo the celebrity chef handshake for an early am coffee refill, anytime. The space is tiny, packed with small tables, not a place to linger; perhaps taking out the order counter (and water/coffee refill station) in lieu of 'full service' was a bad idea.

                If you are looking for a $20 pp quick bite in the neighborhood during the week, and the place is 1/2 full or less, give it a shot.

                1. Tried this with a friend. We got the arancinis - very good. Matzo ball soup also very good (perhaps a teeny tiny bit salty but I'd get it again). Then off to the smoked trout frisee salad and the California Halibut with a thyme champagne sauce. Everything gets a thumbs up. From my first impressions is was easily the best restaurant on Montana. We also got the salad and halibut split so in essence we ended up with a four course meal for about 60 bucks. Looking forward to going back.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                    How was the turn out (take it you were there for dinner)? What time were you there? We keep thinking we'll get over to try it, but so far no success.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Not dinner, but lunch. (showed up aroudn 12:45. The turn out was, well - we were the only ones in there for about half an hour. And then maybe another half dozen people trickled in over the next hour.

                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                        I've been back again. Had some of the same thing (a good sign I'd think). The truffle arancini came with a little dipping sauce this time. It didn't the first time. So either they forgot about it before, or they simply added it. The matzo ball soup, which last time was very good, but a little too salty, was properly salted, but this time is was hit with a little too much thyme. Half the thyme would've been fine. The halibut was the same. Very good.

                        Another time I got the roasted beet salad. The salad came oddly presented (it could have been an artistic choice, but it just didn't seem very artistic - the bowl had nicely dressed green and the beets and cheese were hidden underneath. Nothing wrong with it, but compare it Gjelina's beet and (hazlenut?) salad and...if you're craving beets, that is if I'm craving beets, I'll go to Gjelina's.

                        The service seems eager and affable, but not professional. More like the service you get in a restaurant in a college town.

                        It's still the most interesting restaurant on Montana. (Though I do like Father's Office, I don't like the wait and the crowds. Good for them they have mucho business. )

                        Father's Office Bar
                        1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                        1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                          is stephan's an order at the ounter type joint? and pretty casual? did also take over the space of cynthia's on the corner?

                          1. re: kevin

                            It's a sit down order place and yes, it did take over the space where Cynthia's was.