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Local Kitchen + Wine Bar

1736 Ocean Park Blvd. Send to Phone
A hidden gem with serious culinary cred in Santa Monica. Instagram photo: green juice with kale

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.

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Local Kitchen + Wine Bar, Santa Monica, CA

Local Kitchen + Wine Bar Restaurant Review

: Local Kitchen + Wine Bar in Santa Monica is more than a humble neighborhood restaurant, thanks to the serious culinary cred of executive chef Stephen Murray, who comes from such notable restaurants as Michael Chiarello's Bottega in Napa Valley. The ambiance rides the fence between casual café and edgy hot spot, with a soundtrack that is grown up but with a groove. Design elements include tufted navy blue banquettes and high-top tables, concrete floors, brick walls, white subway tiles behind the bar and a counter that looks into the open kitchen with wood-burning pizza oven. By day, sky lights let in just enough natural illumination. An outdoor terrace --- with plenty of space heaters --- is comfortable year round. When it comes to the food, the kitchen uses as many made-in-house products as possible, from the pastas and pizza dough to the mozzarella and sausage. Main dishes at dinner might range from grilled branzino to chicken under a brick to dry-aged New York strip. Banana budino and chocolate hazelnut doughnuts are two favorites from the desserts. There is a nice selection of wines plus seasonal, creative cocktails, including brunch-only options on the weekends. Stumptown coffee is also available. Come for an after-work drink and enjoy happy hour and bar bites from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. daily in the bar and at the communal tables. (Parking is available in the restaurant's small lot in the back.) This hidden gem won't be a secret for long.

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