Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


104 Santa Monica Blvd. (Ocean Ave.) Send to Phone
Pourtal is a great wine bar in Santa Monica but you might end up going there just for the cuisine of chef Takaki.

Lunch Wed.-Sun., Dinner nightly
Open late

* Click here for rating key

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar, Santa Monica, CA

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar Restaurant Review

: Pourtal (a combination of the words "pour" and "portal”) is your entryway into the world of wines. The wine selections, over sixty of them, constantly rotate, and they can be enjoyed in different manners. Load a plastic “credit” card with any amount of money, and use it to buy pours from one of the four wine tours; the open bottles are preserved with argon gas. The price displayed is for one ounce; multiply that price by ten and you can take the bottle home (they’re stored directly below), or choose from the other bottles displayed at the bar. But if you think of Pourtal only in terms of its wine offerings, you would miss the cuisine of chef Sean Takaki. Takaki has the skills to transform casual food into good food, which isn’t always easy. We would all like to be able to take simple ingredients and turn them into dishes as tasty as those we were presented: an endive salad with Point Reyes blue cheese and a green salad with goat cheese and berries. Toasted breads are topped with roasted heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and pesto, or artichoke mousse and picada. We also recommend the grilled portobello and Beaufort on an English muffin. Cheese plates are composed with products from Andrew's Cheese Shop. But the winning dish of the evening was the toast of warm Belgian blue cheese with melted bitter chocolate. It might as well be your dessert unless you want to try the strawberry shortcake. The high-top tables are surrounded by the soothing orange tones of the décor, which was designed by owner Stephen Abronson, a former TV/film producer.
Discover LA's best new restaurants
New & Hip Restaurants in LA

Check out these new and trendy LA restaurants, from DTLA to Santa Monica and beyond.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.