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Jul 1, 2011 08:15 AM

I Cugini To Close This Summer

I Cugini
1501 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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  1. sad to have them go, but it was a big, expensive space and i'd bet it was very hard to keep it full enough to consistently turn a profit there.
    (irrc, the upper level dining area held about 75 people all by itself)

    i stopped going there when Mariscos Chente opened so close to my house. With Sergio cooking nearby, my appetite for all sorts of fine dining along the lines of i cugnini, declined trememndously.

    14 Replies
    1. re: westsidegal

      Can't help but figure that the new Santa Monica Place mall redo and the resulting dramatic surge in moderate, fine dining establishments have hurt places like I Cugini in the battle for the hearts, minds, stomachs and wallets of the surrounding populace.

      1. re: Servorg

        Sorry to say other than Zengo the Santa Monica Place has been one giant disappointment to me.

        395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          1. re: Servorg

            That is a very nice menu. Servog what do you like there?

            1. re: wienermobile

              I've only lightly noshed there after trailing my wife around the store for what seemed like an eon... ;-D> so I'll just say that the small snack I had was quite impressive and leave it at that. I really want to go back and give it a thorough test drive.

              1. re: Servorg

                Darn Servorg - that menu looks great! Hopefully when they move the Nordstrom around in Glendale, the new building will have a Blue Stove.

                3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA

            2. re: Servorg

              could you give us an idea about pricing?

              1. re: westsidegal

                This is a "tapas" style menu with prices ranging from around $5 for a plate that two could share a bit of the dish (enough to get a taste) up to $12 or so (IIRC). I would say you could make a nice meal if you were hungry for $25 to $30 pp, plus tip (maybe 3 plates each). I would call it moderate pricing for the most part.

          2. re: Servorg

            Agree totally.
            They had a 15-year run, probably with a 15-year lease that required the rent to greatly increase, and knowing the city wanted to tax all restaurants on Ocean Avenue probably was the final nail in the coffin.

            1. re: carter

              Carter, what kind of tax are you referring to?

              1. re: Baron

                Not Carter -- but I'll take a guess.

                Santa Monica is doing some kind of tax for restaurants with sidewalk seating (or something like that -- I don't know the technical details). There is some tax per square foot or something like that.

                1. re: PaulF

                  PaulF nailed it.
                  In theory, if I remember correctly, it would only apply to places on Ocean Avenue, yet don't nail me for that vague remembrance.

                    1. re: PaulF

                      Say goodbye to another seafood restaurant.