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514 Santa Monica Blvd. (Fifth St.) Send to Phone
When warmhearted food professionals come together, you can expect the best.


Open Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun.-Mon. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

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THIS RESTAURANT HAS CHANGED NAMES Heroic Deli & Wine Bar, Santa Monica, CA

Operations may be disrupted due to COVID-19. Be sure to contact the restaurant to find out its current status and offerings.

THIS RESTAURANT HAS CHANGED NAMES Heroic Deli & Wine Bar Restaurant Review

About the team: Why would an American (extreme foodie Jeffrey Merrihue) open an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles in 2019? After all, there’s already a plethora of restaurants offering pasta and dishes from the boot-shaped country in the City of Angels. The answer is simple: he (luckily) ran into Rome-born chef Barbara Pollastrini at a private event. Trained by her mother who taught her to only use the best, she had been in Hollywood for many years and made a name for herself food styling in various TV shows and movies. It was about time to come out from behind the scenes and be the star herself.

Watch chef Barbara Pollastrini preparing her "Blue Pasta". Heroic Deli & Wine Bar is the only restaurant in the world to offer it. We've had it; trust us, it is simply A must-try.

About the restaurant: The Santa Monica restaurant is a very intimate space. An elegant 16-seat communal table sits under an indigo ceiling hand painted with celestial representations of stars and zodiac signs. You can almost hear the wind blowing through the leaves of the trees in the black and white mural. There are also two booths, but this centerpiece is the place to be for its charm and warmth.

Likes: Beautiful dishes matching the peacefulness of the décor.
Dislikes: Even if we look hard, we can not find any.

> Chef Barbara Pollastrini is one of GAYOT's Best Female Chefs in the U.S.

About the food: You can return again and again as it will never be the same. To ensure quality, Pollastrini shops daily; therefore, the menu is very short, and very delicious. The evening we went we got to indulge in Nonna’s Gnudi, a gnudi where Pollastrini has added spinach to the ricotta and seasoned it with sage brown butter and fluffy Parmesan. Remember that dark blue sky you are sitting under? Well, now you are past it --- you are in heaven. The homemade spaghetti with sea urchin and a Santa Barbara prawn; the fresh branzino with fennel, onions and garlic; and the tagliata porcini mignon (sliced filet mignon with porcini mushroons and rucola) are other dishes to remember. We did not get to try Pollastrini’s signature dish, house-made pasta with butter made from live uni, crab and caviar, so that will be a very good excuse to come back. Talking about souvenirs, the Barolo panna cotta topped with Amarena cherries and crumbled biscotti is the best panna cotta we’ve ever tasted. (We even had to have a second one.) And, what a touch is the brandy shot to pour on your tiramisù when it comes to the table. The wine list, Merrihue's big baby, is focused on highly-rated Californian and Italian labels, with quite some offerings by the glass.

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