The Best “Parking” Turned “Restaurant” in LA | One Pico, Santa Monica, CA

By Sophie Gayot

The reputation of hotel Shutters on the Beach has long surpassed the frontiers of California and America. It is never easy for an icon to stay afloat of its reputation. It is a constant challenge, especially in the world of hospitality. One Pico, the hotel’s flagship restaurant, opened in June 1983. Back in those days there were very few decent dining venues in Los Angeles. It was part of that short list, adding the ultra-premium location: unlimited views of the Santa Monica Bay, the Santa Monica Pier, the Pacific Ocean and, at the appropriate time of the day, California’s often-stunning sunsets.

After these heydays, I have had disappointing dinners. But — there is a but — just like the Ferris wheel, things have turned, and much for the better. I would tend to attribute this kitchen upswing to the arrival of Franck Savoy, the Corporate Director of Food & Beverage. Savoy has been bathed in kitchens since he was born; he is the son of mega-chef Guy Savoy… Combine his knowledge of food, his vision of French luxury and style, and we get One Pico 2.COVID19.

In this particular case, we can thank the recent outdoor dining regulations. Savoy got the idea to move the restaurant to the valet area. Shaded by a beautiful coral tree, One Pico has the most elegant parking-turned-restaurant in Los Angeles. Of course, lights were added as well as decorative elements in the tree, making you feel you are in the South of France — a good thing as you won’t be able to enjoy the French Riviera for a while.

Chef de Cuisine David Almany has composed a menu that gives a sense of freshness and lightness. As mentioned above, this is the best meal I have had at One Pico (so far…). Quality ingredients, including from the nearby Farmers Market, are used and it shows on the plate.

Am I guessing right in thinking that this temporary dining room setup could become permanent? I think it should… and the City of Angels weather permits it, even in winter.

> Another of Savoy’s ideas that’s not to be missed: the Kir Royal Cart. Watch the video above.

One Pico
Shutters on the Beach
One Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405