1551 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.011931 -118.494913
Mon - Thur: 11:30am-10:00pm
Fri & Sun: 11:30am-10:00pm
Neighborhoods: West LA, Downtown
bad pasta...dirty restaurant – this place needs a facelift... the staff does too. no energy...the pasta was soggy and the bread stale. the place was not very clean
just basic – this was a basically good meal with basically good service with basically good dessert. basic is all that it offers. the waiters seemed a bit tired of working there and the bartender was wierd
mediocre and boring – they have been around a long time they need to do better. they have alot of money to work with and this place is sooo tired! clean it up and get motivated
Big, brassy, and hot, Il Fornaio demonstrates that chain restaurants can do it right. – The Scene
At first glance Il Fornaio looks too frenetic and unwieldy to be a serious restaurant--but it is. The sprawling, stylish dining room attracts a diverse crowd. Adding to the show are the pyrotechnics in the gleaming open kitchen. At peak hours the place can be loud but not distractingly so.
The kitchen turns out well-honed renditions of regional northern Italian fare, with a dozen or more daily specials. For starters, salads are vibrant and attractive, as is the grilled ciabatta bread swathed with chopped tomatoes, basil and kalamata olives. All the pastas can be recommended--don't miss the ravioli filled with Swiss chard and pinenuts, and the mesquite-grilled chicken flattened with a brick (no joke) to make it extra crispy. Be sure to check out the impressive and fairly priced wine list.
great neighborhood spot – great place to have italian food with a flare and a nice glass of wine in a quiet, cozy restaurant where there never seems to be a wait but is always full of ocean park regulars.
Wonderful Mushroom Ravioli! – The food is good, everything on the menu is excellent. This isn't a fancy joint by any stretch but they have great food, great wine and excellent service. Cool ambiance at night, outdoor seating available. If you're looking for a casual and reasonably priced italian restaurant with awesome food, this is the spot.
Recommend: at Pasadena or El segundo – i strongly recommend the Il Fornaio at Pasadena or El segundo. this particular one at santa monica wasn't that great. maybe b/c it was the time i went..we went during a weekday at the santa monica location, it wasn't good. the food was cold, service wasnt great.
Pasadena -- moden design, good service, food and desert.
El segundo -- i usually go during the lunch hour (close to where i work) great lunch!
TRY this DESERT! and u will L-O-V-E it!
Zabaione alla Gritti 6.95
Chilled zabaione with fresh berries, Bellini sorbet, fresh whipped cream and amarena cherry
Visit Il Fornaio - It's Rome In Santa Monica! – 'Il Fornaio della Spiaggia' is a must visit. Don't let the fact that it's a 'chain' fool you. This restaurant would stands among the top of it's class. The cuisine is drawn from many parts of Italy (not just the North).
The monthly regional menus introduce foods from each of Italy's varied regions thus providing access to flavors not found in ANY restaurant. We are truly spoiled with these restaurants in our midst.
Everything about this restaurant, from the architecture, materials (marble), lighting are authentically right off the streets of Rome, Naples or Florence. The wait staff is incredibly well trained, their uniforms are classic 'cameriere' and the assitants are incredible!
No detail left unmonitored or unchecked. Watch the native Italian supervising the kitchen.
If you are lucky enough to be there when the giant prawns are on the menu - ORDER THEM!
Just good enough to not be bad – I was happy to find that Il Forniao wasn't as loud as I'd heard on a Friday night; the room was quite pleasant and the booths commodious. The food suffers from trying a little too hard. For instance, the duck special had a strong smoky flavor and an intense balsamic reduction; the result was too intensely flavored in too many directions. The regular dishes fared better - the veal scallopini was excellent, and the stuffed pastas were perfect. I'd say this is a good choice for a business dinner as long as you stick with the basics.
Reliable and good value – I live in SM and have always found the Il Fornaio there to be a good spot for taking more or less anyone. Plus you can walk over to the pier after dinner!
I strongly disagree with the reviewer who compared Il Fornaio to the Red Lobster if he/she meant that literally. That's like comparing John O'Groats to Coco's. If you really can't tell the difference then stick to McD's!
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