225 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.015294 -118.496549
Mon - Thu, 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 10pm; Fri, 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5pm - 10:30pm; Sat, 11:30am - 3pm, 5:30pm - 10:30pm; Sun, 11:30am - 3pm, 5:30pm - 10pm
Anisette didn't quite live up to the hype... – I went to Anisette last night for my birthday with my boyfrirend & parents. As mentioned in other reviews the service was hit & miss. After being seated the waiter came over to ask about water but then quickly disappeared before asking us if we wanted cocktails or wine!! Once he returned upstairs we had to flag him down to have him take our drink order. I also ordered a salad which came in about 2 minutes, even before our drinks! Then when we wanted to order dinner we again had to flag him down.
When looking over the menu, I have to say I was greatly disappointed to see that there was no lamb on the menu...except as the Sunday special. This is very different from what is shown on their online menu on the website. I guess a lot of items have been removed & that was too bad! I was so looking forward to rack of lamb! So I ordered the Wed Special, Beef Bourguignon (a la Julia Child). It was very tasty, with all the right elements, but I have to say the meat was not as tender as I would have expected (I had to use a knife) and it seems like it was made the day before or maybe the day before that!! My boyfriend had the same dish & thought the same thing! My mother had the Sea Bass which was excellent. Moist & very delicious. My dad had the 10 oz (supposed) rib eye without the bone. I say supposed because this did not look like any rib eye I'd ever seen & I thought maybe they gave him the flat iron by mistake. The steak was full of gristle and looked absolutely horrible. My dad make the best of it though. When mentioned to the waiter my dad was very cordial about it & I tried to speak up but the waiter insisted it was a rib eye. Im still not so sure - out of 10oz, 5oz was left on the plate - inedible! On the flip side, the pomme frites that came with it were excellent, as was the garlic aioli that my dad got on the side. They should serve their fries with the aioli always! We had the house caraf of Cotes du Rhone which was very good. Also we finished with the Pots de Creme (vanilla with little lemon madeline cookies on the side) which also was excellent.
Would I go back once more? Yes. Maybe on a Sunday when I can get the lamb!
Great if you like speed-dining – Last night was my fourth visit to Anisette Brasserie. Since past visits had been fairly good, we made a reservation to celebrate an anniversary. What a tremendous disappointment.
It seems since the last time we ate at Anisette, the management has adopted the 'hurry-up-and-eat' business model.
We placed our wine order and the waiter promptly returned to uncork and pour. Minutes later, he was back, interrupting an obvious toast. Rather than have the good sense to discreetly disappear, he stood there and stared at us. Feeling pressured, we ordered an appetizer. When asked what we wanted as a main course, we told the waiter that we hadn't yet decided. He informed us that we had to order the appetizer and main course all at once, saying something about the chef wanting it that way.
Not to bore you with the details, but I had to fend off three busboys who were in a rush to clear my salad plate before I had even finished. Our waiter kept returning to check on us, but we both felt he was anxious to get us out of there so that they could seat more guests. From the upstairs section, I had a clear view of the entryway, and only once did it appear there were people waiting to be seated, yet there were empty tables available upstairs where we were eating.
The waitstaff were simply doing what management tells them to do, so I don't blame them for doing their jobs and trying to flip tables quickly. I do find fault with any dining establishment in this category that finds it necessary to adopt a diner mentality and rush patrons through their meals.
Needless to say, we won't be returning to Anisette. There are too many other restaurants in the area that understand customers are willing to pay a little more to have a pleasant and unhurried dining experience. Anisette missed the mark on this one.
Good food, service has room for improvement – Very traditional French bistro menu and though the service was hit or miss, the food was quite good. This place absolutely filled a void needed in Santa Monica. Be forewarned - no valet.
Great vibe! – we sat at the bar...I love the vibe there...the oysters were great and the bartender attentive...been back a few more times already...I love their cocktails...reminds me of my fav restaurant in NYC so I love being there!!
Great space and food – The food was great. Had the steak tartare for an app, and had the steak frites. Both were awesome.
The space is really cool, but once it begins to fill up, it's time to start raising your voice.
I would recommend booking ahead, since it looked like there were some walk ups who had to be turned away.
Great Brunch Spot and Value – My sister and I went for brunch last weekend and were both very happy with the food. We had beef tartar for starters. It was high quality meat and included a quail egg on top. I got the Belgian waffle with strawberries, which was toasted to perfection while soft on the inside and had a wonderful vanilla taste. My sister ordered the duck hash, which I highly recommend. It was perfectly roasted with bits of potatoes and herb sauce with an egg on top. The warm yolk spilled out on everything once it was cut and every bite in that dish became so perfect to the palate. We ended with an apple tatin, which was also amazing with its great caramelized flavor and superb crust.
Although some dishes may seem a bit pricey for their portions (like the duck hash), I think the prices are reasonable considering the quality of the dishes and the extraordinary tastes I experienced. I think of it this way: if the apple tatin is ten times better than any apple tatin I have ever had, then it is worth paying $10 for the experience of tasting something that good. (This also applies to the $3 coffee that was incredibly smooth and sweet to drink even without sugar.)
The service was nice and prompt. Our server was very knowledgeable about the food and gave great recommendations. However, to be honest, I prefer servers who are hip and upbeat, rather than just polite and serious.
Also, just north of Anisette and the Equinox parking, there was a public parking lot, so we got the first two hours free.
Not Impressed. – I just came home from dinner with a girlfriend at Anisette. They were too crowded to seat us at a proper table so we sat in the bar area ( big mistake ). We split the goat cheese and beet salad to start. The goat cheese was very rich and tasted across between brie and a piece of cheesecake from the( cheesecake factory), arugula was on the top. It was pretty mediocre and very small in size. I then had the mussels which were served to me almost cold and with very little broth. Just not very appetizing. My girlfriend order the french onion soup which is usually one of our favorites. This soup was priced at $14.00 so I figured my friend would get a bowl but no she was served this soup in a very small ramekin. I had a taste and it was just ok, nothing to write home about. I just got home from Basalt Colorado on Saturday and had the best ever french onion soup which cost me about $6.00. Go figure. I would not go back to this restaurant ( oh by the way the service was horrific. Our waitress had super dark hair and she was awful. Would have to give this place two thumbs down. Also the acoustics were really bad and the lighting was super harsh. Not a good date spot. Not romantic at all.
Great Brasserie in Santa monica – I LOVE THIS RESTAURANT!!!!!!!! I lived in Paris for 9 years and I finally found a restaurant that is truly French! From the croissants to the moules frites, all is perfection. I loved that the chef came by our table to see if everything was alright. He is adorable and so talented. I will be back soon , A bientot
Avoid! – Really wanted to like this place. Had heard good things so finally decided to try it out. The physical space is nice, they did a good job with the decor. The menu was ok, nothing special. Champagne list (by the glass, I didn't bother with the bottle list) was kind of a joke - the prices and what was available already turned me off. The pastries were actually quite good... I will give them that. I was a bit full after a few pastries and the vanilla scented butter and would have been much better off had I stopped there. Had the Tuna "sandwich" as a starter, which ended up being brought together with our main courses... big loss of points there... watching the server and waiter try and put two main dishes and a "starter" on the table at the same time, before we even finished our pastries was pretty comical. Waiter didn't seem to notice or care until I mentioned something to him... instead of saying he was sorry and trying to fix the situation he blamed it on a computer error... really? Like you don't know that its not appropriate to serve a starter and main together... ok. So on to the food. The Tuna "starter" was awful, pretty much not even edible - the taste was off, and the bread was as hard as a brick... pass. Had the salmon benedict and while the taste was actually pretty good... it was cold. Had the Anisette Omelette which was also cold and even though I had requested the eggs cooked medium, they were hard and way overdone, served with cold soggy toast. When I brought up the situation to the manager... she ended up talking to the chef (who happened to be sitting a few tables from us). He proceeded to insult my girlfriend in French, not thinking we understood. They offered to comp our pastries, which I felt a pretty weak attempt at correcting the situation. When we left the Manager was unavailable, but needless to say we will not return again.
Avoid this place like a plague. There are SO SO SO many better places in LA.
A perfectly done Brasserie – I'll admit it- I loathe new and crave things in my life that are old. I would NEVER live in a new house or apartment building, I buy vintage clothes with some new pieces thrown in here and there, and I don't like the sterile atmosphere of most new restaurants. And then I found Anisette. The second I walked in I felt transported to another time, when people built things to last and real craftsmen made them. I sat at the seemingly endless Zinc bar the first time and had a strong americano and a pain au chocolat, so buttery and delicious I actually felt guilty. The next time I came was for dinner and had a bowl of beef daube that changed my life. It was incredible! One of the managers actually recognized me from a few days before and came over to greet our table and welcome me back- I felt like a VIP! I've since become a regular and have very little complaints about service or the food (once too my fries weren't quite right, and if you don't have a reservation for dinner the wait for walk in's is not pretty). Food wise, here is what I recommend(and what I've tried):
Daube, Moule Frites, Onion soup, Croque Monsieur, Brasserie Burger, Oysters, THE CHEESE PLATES ARE AMAZING, Any of the Croissants, Steak Frites... Enjoy.
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