Tiato - Market Garden Cafe in Santa Monica
Has anyone eaten here? Are they open for dinner yet? The menu looks interesting.
I've done it for lunch a few times. The garden is great and a nice way to sneak a long lunch break from work. The food is fairly average. I think I've mainly done the villager's favorite (or something like that) and its one of those, didn't love it, didn't hate it kind of places. If you're looking for authentic or particularly flavorful Vietnamese, this isn't it but if you need a good, easy lunch option this works.
The food ranges from decent to downright awful. Everything is "westside-priced." Stick to the "Vietnamese style baguette," their take on banh mi or the noodle salad (bun) or the salad bar. I do like their salad bar, although it always seems to add up to more than I expect (say, compared to Mrs. Winstons, where I normally pay around $8-9, but here, I end up paying over $10 - price per lb is about the same, I think, and I don't think I load up more here...?!). I finally tried their "famous" garlic noodles at happy hour and thought they were awful - not just meh, but really dreadful. The noodles were overcooked to a complete mush and the (fake) butter flavor was overwhelming. If this is their take on aio e oio, it is truly pathetic. All the other happy hour offerings were pretty bad as well.
Anyway, yes, the space is really nice. The outer parts of the patio can feel like Siberia but it's generally pleasant.