1810 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.008015 -118.491126
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West LA
Great attention to detail – It was the perfect spot for our anniversary. The Maître’d remembered me from my birthday celebration last November and took extremely great care of us. From the bread to the homemade gelato and everything in-between we could not have had a better experience, one that costs a few dollars, but the staff never lets you forget that you are the most important person in the place. The Bolognese is the best I've ever tasted and the wood fired dry aged New York will literally melt in your mouth.
Very disappointing – We were extremely disappointed with Capo. The food was terrible, not only for one of us but few of us and we had to send it back, the fish was raw... service was not good at all and on top of it we got charged a 20% service fee without any appologies from the manager for the terrible food and service.
It's a shame for the chef to be 'proud' to put his name below the menu, it's an art to serve good food and Capo certainly doesn't have the art!
Amazing in every way – I have eaten at Capo at least 5 or 6 times and each time was memorable. It's a small sophisticated, yet relaxed venue that's always busy but never too loud to hear the people you're with. A wood burning fire is always going in the back corner behind the bar, with a chef busy at work. It is the food, however, that makes this place truly shine. My favorite appetizers are the farmers market tomato salad and the sweet corn and truffle ravioli. All the pastas may be ordered in half portions (which I recommend) for appetizers. My favorite entrees are the Santa Barbara Scampi and the Lamb shank but they only have the latter on occasion. They always bring out excellent petits fours.
Ambiance and Gnocchi – By far one of the most exclusive places in Santa Monica, with very much a modern Italian feel. The wine list is pretty extensive with some very interesting bottles of wine, although some seemed to me to cost a little bit more than I would have expected. The open grill looks beautiful and the lamb that was cooking on it looked incredibly appetizing, I couldn't wait to taste it. The dish that left me most satisfied was the gnocchi, it was just as I had had it in Italy, and that was very exciting since it made me travel in time. Definetly a place I recommend to my good friends all the time for a special evening!
Bring Money...or else! – I have to start this by saying that I don't mind spending top dollar for good food. But if you're a restaurant that's going to charge $$$$ for food and service you'd better be willing to live up to the standards you've set for yourselves. In that regard, Capo was a dismal disappiontment. Despite the soft lighting and charming decor, the service was at best perfunctory and at worst nonexistent. The bread tasted La Brea Bakery rejects and the "complementary" appetizer was some kind of tasteless immitation humous in a receptacle so tiny that it looked like starch in a kitchen drain. That was followed by individual cones of red caviar so small they would have starved a hummingbird. I was prepared for the sticker shock menu, but not by a wine list that included nothing but "average" California reds by the glass and a list of whites that wouldn't cover a post it note. You can bring your own wine but the corkage fee is $25, which is worth the price when you see that the cheapest bottle on the menu starts at $60. The salad and hot leek soup were only average. And when the entrees arrived (we were told the meat and fish dishes were outstanding!), my date got a veal chop with a tepee of grilled vegetables that had the character of smoked cardboard. My duck was flavorful, but it came with no vegetables and a pile of lifeless sweet polenta. I'm sorry! But where I come from polenta by any other name is "grits" and nothing is worse for dinner than medium rare duck and a pile of muchy grits. To make matters worse, when the waiter realized we weren't going to drop $500 bucks for dinner, he all but ignored us, never even inquired as to the meal, to refil our water, or ask if we wanted another glass of wine. At that the bill came in at just under $200 for which we were ushered quickly out the door after being left for dead most of the night. Outside, they brought up my Jaguar and snarled at my $2 tip, which was frankly the best value for money I had all night. Gracias Adios!
Snug, romantic atmosphere. Phenomenal breads and primo wines. – The service was a tad stuck up. They could seat us without reservations but needed the table in an hour and a half and made that VERY clear to us. Otherwise the food was top notch, in small, filling portions. So good I ordered dessert which I almost never do. Wines are pricey but worth it. Capo has charming ambience with a dimly lit wood interior and fire place, which really sets it apart from the typical modern design of most LA hot spots.
Another disappointed customer... – My husband and I first went to Capo on the night of our engagement three years ago. It was great. And we've been there three times since. But, we just went again last Saturday night for our Anniversary and it will probably be our last. The service was average...I had to ask twice for pepper, ran out of water,etc. But, the worst was the Gnocchi. I get it every time, but this time it was pretty awful. I told the waiter and he said there was a new pasta guy and he would mention it to the chef...and I guess that was as far as my complaint went. I would have thought a free dessert or something since I ate less than half of my entree, but...not even an apology. The desserts were so-so, nothing fantastic. It was really below average for a meal over $200 and only one of us had wine.
No restaurant is worth rude service – It's like deja vu. I remember eating at Capo a year ago, food was satisfactory, but the service was substandard, cold and rude. I happened there by chance a few evenings ago, and that will be my LAST time there. Sorry, Bruce, and crew; okay food isn't enough. Not only did the bartender blatantly insult my girlfriend, but he had the WORST "I'm doing you a favor" attitude possible. There are too many good options for dining, cross this one off your list.
I hate to say this, but... – I've dined at Capo 3 times, and the first two times were lovely dining experiences. However, this most recent visit last Friday (after my last visit of September) dissappointed me. First off, me and my party were seated at the table next to the host stand by the door -- never a good sign to a diner as although there were other open tables, they would not reseat us. There was a draft all night from the door, and even though the staff was 2 feet away at all times, we were neglected often. The appetizers were fresh and wonderful, but the second and third courses came out too fast and all were cold and bland -- unlike my previous visits. Still, I consider this the best Italian of its kind in LA. Hoping for better next time...
Just Say No to Capo – My boyfriend and I went here for our birthdays. We live close and eat out quite often, I've tried and enjoy many of the top restaurants in LA. I didn't like Capo at all. We got the tasting menu and everything was laden with butter. The steak dish came with cold potatoes! There were things I didn't even eat at all because they were not tasty. This is not normal behavior for me - I love food and love trying everything. Worse was we ordered a glass of wine each - at $20 a glass it was not a good value. We were seated so close to another couple I could have eaten off their plates - the whole dining room is terribly crowded. Our dinner at Capo left me feeling dissappointed and also left a $300 hole in my boyfriend's wallet. We would have been better off ordering pizza.
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