Santa Monica bistro dishes up small plates of American seasonal fare with imaginative flair.. The Scene Lounge-y electronica washes over a warm postmodern room of brushed stainless steel, auburn wood, tile and minimalist paintings. Violet banquets line the walls, and white vinyl bar stools add a modish touch. Hipsters from nearby McCabe's rub elbows with young parents carrying sleeping babies in car seats, or older couples walking from the neighborhood.
The Food Chef/owner Jared Simons offers up small plates of classic American dishes and gourmet comfort food with an organic slant. Some are a feast for the eyes as well, like multicolored beets with smoked eel, orange, ginger and flower petals. A silky home-cured graavlax perches on a whisper of chervil mousse, and giant, tender seared scallops offset vanilla risotto. Delicious macaroni and cheese is punctuated with Serrano ham, leeks and gruyere, and rich venison meatballs with green peppercorns are irresistibly savory. Flavorful duck breast goes rustic with thyme honey pesto and chanterelles, and sultry braised beef short ribs are heartily satisfying.