Open late Fri.-Sat.
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Shades Restaurant Review: Shades is a modern hotel restaurant with a cozy main dining room and an umbrella-filled outdoor patio with striking ocean views. Chef Jeff Littlefield, who gets most of his ingredients from his forays to the Santa Monica farmers market, has reinvented his menu with more classic European and Mediterranean influences. Start with such appetizers as a flavorful baba ghanouj, a crab cocktail, oyster shooters or tender diver scallops with Meyer lemon risotto and coriander oil. The cheese, charcuterie and pâté plates are also a good choice, especially with a glass of wine recommended by the always-on-hand sommelier. We also suggest the Mediterranean-influenced tapas menu, with such winners as goat cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers, spicy lamb skewers and Kobe sliders with smoked mozzarella. For mains, try the barbecue-rubbed salmon, shrimp skewers, Prime hanger steak or one of the robust nightly signature dishes, such as veal osso buco milanese or a short rib pot roast. The dessert menu, available upon request, has a number of solid options, led by the baked hot chocolate and churros combo. The wine list has some good selections of mostly California, French and South African varietals. On Sundays, Shades has one of the best brunches in OC.