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“Ok food, ok service”

Bistro of Santa Monica
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Ranked #186 of 676 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Cross street: 23rd Street
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Ok food, ok service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2012

This restaurant was recommended by our hotel. It was ok. My husband had the eggplant parmesan and I had a ravioli dish (sorry, can't remember which one). The eggplant was very mushy and bland. The ravioli was much better and I would say was pretty good. Our server was ambivalent and service was so-so. In the evening, though, they have a piano player and he was really good.

Visited June 2012
Thank FionaJ68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
83 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Surprisingly Good Lunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2012

I am always impressed when a cafe/bistro has an intelligent & well priced wine by the glass and half bottle list. This one hit the spot. Where else in Santa Monica will you find Chianti Classico Reserva by the glass without breaking the bank?
The ambiance is sophisticated, including white table cloths and cloth napkins. The service was excellent and the waiter was knowledgeable and helpful.
I had a simple pasta. I asked for and received 'al dente'. I was a very happy diner.
My single criticism is the dessert menu has no prices.Very foolish,in my opinion. It turns out every dessert is $7.50, which is too expensive relative to the food and wine prices.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank cuppajoe2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, England
Level Contributor
142 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Out of Town But Worth the Trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2012

Don't be put off by the location, 20 blocks from the ocean. This is a good Italian bistro with an extensive menu and a good selection of daily seafood specials. The service was excellent, it was nice not to get a look when asking for a whole bottle of wine for once! The night ewe ate there there was a piano player which added to the ambiance. Free wifi, which although great does lead to a lot of heads draped over phones and iPads!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bignickandlittleted
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Not a bistro, but an OK Italian restaurant”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2012

It may not e deliberate, but the restaurant seems to have an identity crisis--various listings call it American, Italian, and Northern Italian, while Bistro implies French, but it's really a Southern Italian place. Southern Italian doesn't just mean red checked tablecloths and spaghetti with red sauce, and it's nothing to be ashamed of--this has a fairly broad Italian menu, but the emphasis is south of Rome. It has an upscale appearance--Tony Soprano would be comfortable here, and that's a compliment. I found the service a bit stiff, but it was efficient. The food (one of the many pasta dishes) was OK, but not unusual or memorable in any way, and the same could be said for the salad and bread (I'm a little fussy about Italian bread, and this did not make the grade). Nothing objectionable--and as another reviewer noted, if you're staying in this part of town, and want to eat nearby,this is an OK choice.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank hillretiree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very nice restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2012

Really enjoyed our meal at this restaurant. The food was good and very well priced. Beware the house wine though which at $35 a bottle, I thought was a bit on the expensive side. Apart from that, a lovely meal! I can recommend this restaurant, especially if you're staying at the Best Western Gateway hotel which is only a very short walk up the street.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank justclaire66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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