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“Fabulous for lunch” 5 of 5 stars
Review of R+D Kitchen

R+D Kitchen
1323 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403
310-395-3314
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Ranked #48 of 573 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Santa Monica, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Fabulous for lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

I love this place, particularly for lunch. We stopped in for lunch a few days ago and as usual it was wonderful. The space is modern, yet inviting. They don't take reservations and it can get busy so plan accordingly. I enjoyed a delicious bloody mary while we waited which was speedily ordered and delivered by the bar staff. After a very short wait we were seated at one of the front tables near the windows. There is a pretty large dining room and a large bar in the main front room.

The menu is rather small but it's loaded with delicious options. On this visit I had the chicken salad. When it came I was worried I couldn't eat the large portion but it was so delicious I couldn't stop. It's a good example of how R+D uses super fresh ingredients and creative approaches to serve up a delicious, memorable dish.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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75 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    44
    22
    5
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
madrid
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Great restaurant, excellent service and delicious food.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

Definitely a very safe bet on Montana Street in Santa Monica. The food is great, the portions are very large and the service is excellent. Perhaps the only change would be to ensure that only extra-virgin olive oil is used in the spotless kitchen and to be sure to order fewer dishes, as portions are very big.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Average Fare In A Familiar Setting”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Current ownership took over the premises of Junior's Deli and basically changed little in the deli's operation, which is both good and bad for patrons seeking traditional Askenazy European fare. Though the menu is quite broad, it doesn't include much in the way of contemporary health-oriented choices.

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Delicious & polished, neighborhood feel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

I've been going to R+D since it opened in my neighborhood, for all different meals/times. It's one of the more reliable places to eat for tasty dishes, great atmosphere with a upscale look yet maintains a neighborhood feel.

Couple things/tips: Today I ordered the special picnic style tuna sandwich, which is delicious, plus their signature deviled eggs and french fries. Their french fries are the best. Truly. There were two of us and because the sandwich special is essentially a sandwich and a half, we did not have to add an additional sandwich which helps out as they are on the pricey side. Lunch for two if you order all the fixings/sides, each have an entree or sandwich, drinks (non alcoholic) can easily run you $65 before tip. So keep that in mind when you venture out there. But the way we configured this lunch, one lunch special sandwich, deviled eggs, fries, two coffees, it came to more around $40 with tip. So if you get creative, you can keep to a budget without comprising a higher end food experience. If that's what you're looking for. If price isn't an option, rock out. The food is wonderful. However one note on their menu; they do not change it, ever. They add specials but they are generally the same ones. This applies largely to neighborhood folks or repeat customers. It's one of the major points my friends and I who live in the hood complain about R+D.

Other notes; their wine list is superb. The service is consistently good but it definitely has an LA feel to it, e.g. everyone's an actor/musician and the niceties are somewhat disingenuous. But the servers are always polite and it's very well managed.

Okay here's my one bit of harsh criticism. They have a morning coffee bar till 11am on the weekdays and 10:30am on the weekends. It's one of the best kept secrets in the neighborhood, though not quite so kept any longer. The coffee is excellent and is only $2 a cup. Also available are "to die for" scones, also $2. Anywhere else would be twice that much for the quality of scone and they are the best I've every had, literally. They also have tasty breakfast burritos (avocado, cheese, scrambled eggs w/a side of Louisiana hot sauce or something like) for $5 which in comparison is a little pricey but they're very good. The criticism I have with this "could be" great neighborhood coffee bar service is that the wait staff clearly hate drawing this shift. And they not only let it show but take it out on the customers. Originally the service was on the honor system, relying on a ceramic bucket for patrons to drop the money. Something must have happened (e.g. not enough honor maybe) because they've recently changed that policy and now the servers take your money directly. What used to incur was we would go the coffee bar, get our coffee and scones and the servers would either completely ignore us or be very rude when we would ask for anything. I should say, not every server. But several of them. There was one manager (I think a weekend manager) who was so incredibly rude we stopped going for awhile. We would be sitting at the bar reading the paper and she would be cleaning around us as if we were furniture, not saying a word to us, or even smiling or acknowledging we were human. And in fact she would make fun of all of us, in front of us. One time she joked with the servers about how the buzzards (I'm paraphrasing) had picked the place clean. And laughed about it. She also would make comments about how cheap it was and how the patrons were cheap. It was a shocker. And what really would frustrate us about it was, we live in the neighborhood, and spend a ton of money at R+D. We aren't just here for the cheap coffee. We get lunch, dinners, go to the bar for drinks frequently. But that shouldn't even matter. It's ridiculous to treat customers that way. If the staff, especially a manager, has a problem with the coffee bar service, that's not between them and their customers. We've noticed lately with the change over of their process the servers went from 0-60 on the rude to nice scale. So perhaps the change up effected the way they were paid as well.

Note that despite the above criticism (which would normally be under a bad review), only changed this review from a 5 star to a 4 star. Because overall, R+D has excellent food, and it keeps us coming back. So I do really recommend it. And I recommend the coffee bar as a great value and lovely atmosphere in the morning -- they open the windows and you can sit by the open window. There are generally not a ton of people in the know, and there's always a place to sit and it's quiet and peaceful and an unbelievable value. But I can't ignore the rude encounters we did have. I truly hope a owner or manager reads this and addresses it with their staff because had it not been for the charm of the neighborhood place mixed with consistently yummy food, and a very convenient location, I would have never gone back.

All things considered, R+D gets 4 stars from me.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Well known watering hole”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

We were on our way to LA for a late flight and decided to stop here for a drink because our friends are familiar with the R+D Kitchen in Yountville.

It was crowded, noisy, and friendly. We had to sit at one end of the bar, overlooking the street. Our good looking bartender is an aspiring actor waiting for his big break. We wished him good luck.

From our corner we spotted a world famous golfer coming in for lunch - Fred Couples. Santa Monica must be a good place for celebrity spotting.

We didn't eat, having made reservations elsewhere. But our friends assured us that the food is very good. We just had beers.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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