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“Excellent Neighborhood Place”
Review of La Vecchia Cucina

La Vecchia Cucina
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Ranked #14 of 696 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Cross street: Ocean Park
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Was in town for a few short days and wanted to celebrate my birthday. Not only was the food amazing (the chef was able to please my most-picky husband!) but the atmosphere was fun and friendly and the wait staff was amazing. From the moment we sat down, we were attended to in a very unobtrusive way. The sommalier decanted our wine and the chef visited our table to find out how well we liked our meal. I also received a complimentary birthday dessert and it was to die for - a molten chocolate cake!

As other reviewers have mentioned, the atmosphere is busy and a bit noisy -- but that's very European. It seems as though the locals are regulars here and that is how I like to judge the quality of a restaurant.

You will not be disappointed in either the service or the food. Oh, and did I mention their signature cocktails are briliant? My husband had orange infused Maker's Mark (their own concoction) and I had a lemon martini with fresh basil. It was amazing....

GO!

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Thank Vic1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 - 201 of 376 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2013

great , friendly staff plus excellent food make this a Santa Monica hot spot. altho tables are close together if you request a table by the wall you won't be bothered by the noise. you will, however, enjoy the joy of happy diners!

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Thank joanne l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2013

We dined here two nights in a row. Both times we had a reservation and were promptly seated. The wait staff is friendly and knowledgable, making solid recommendations for wine, entrees and desserts.
A note before you go here: it is crowded and it is noisy. It's happy noisy, diners talking and laughing. The seating is more European style, with tables close together. Remove your coat, etc before you get to your table as wiggle room is very limited.
The menu is inventive. The osso bucco was divine as was the farfalle with lobster. The seasoning and presentation of the meal was nicely done.
Try the pistachio gelato or the carrot cake for dessert...both very tasty and not too heavy.
There is parking in a free lot (but you might get blocked in) or pay parking ($1 per hour) around the corner.
I would definitely return and would make a reservation.

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Thank travchef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

Great spot for inspired, reasonable fare on Main St. The farfalle with white wine sauce, tiny mushrooms and lobster was spectacular. I'm definitely going to copy it for a dinner party. As the reviews say, it's really noisy. That's because it is jam-packed, hugely popular and deservedly so. Lots of groups with young kids made it a bit deafening, but the food is so good you just grin & bear it.

Thank ManhattanAdwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

My wife and I wanted Italian before running the Los Angeles Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon and briefly looked at listings online and chose La Vecchia Cucina. Arriving, we were promptly seated and the service was attentive and knowledgeable. The food was excellent, every course. The Squash blossoms were delicious and frankly everything was very good. When the bill arrive, I thought it might be a mistake because it was about half of what we had paid at a couple of other meals in the area. If I had any complaint, it might be the noise level but frankly most restaurants these days are a bit louder and the food was so good I did not care!

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Thank Russellmlewis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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