First impressions: La Grande Orange Santa Monica

Market counter at La Grande Orange Santa Monica

Market counter at La Grande Orange Santa Monica

After a Macallan scotch tasting at the Viceroy last night (set up by e*starla and attended by Caroline on Crack, LAist’s Julie Wolfson and LA-OC-Foodie – but more on that later), we headed over to La Grande Orange’s newest outpost in Santa Monica for dinner.

The good: The entrance is decorated with pots of homegrown herbs – nice touch. The market counter and wine display upon entering have a simple, clean presentation. This new location serves sushi, and the rainbow roll was excellent (go with the aioli dip, not the soy – too salty). The sweet potato roll, something I hadn’t seen before, was decent, though it was really just tempura-battered and fried sweet potato with avocado. The service was prompt and friendly. And when our server charged us for the wrong dessert item, she ended up comping it.

The bad: I wasn’t impressed with the food. Granted, it was opening night. I know it takes a while for restaurants to get it right. But after being impressed with LGO Pasadena’s food, I had high hopes. I ordered the turkey and vegetable meatloaf, which was a little bland, and came with broccolini. I thought surely it would be accompanied by mashed potatoes, or something of the sort. My fellow diners and I noticed some items were missing from the menu, too: deviled eggs, olive oil cake, and the pizza that has been touted as the Next Big Thing for LGO. The restaurant’s rep says Santa Monica is still tweaking its menu, so I guess we’ll see what ultimately ends up on it.

Of course, this isn’t a full review since the place just opened. All in all, I’d go back. I still have faith that it’ll be as good as the Pasadena location.

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Maya Meinert

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12

05 2009

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  1. g #
    1

    I just had lunch here. Everyone was quite pleasant and eager to please. The Thai chicken salad was good – I really enjoyed it. But it was pricey – $12.95.

    and although the menu description included watercress as the greens, there wasn’t a leaf of watercress to be found – the greens were a bed of two large butter lettuce leaves plus some chopped iceberg. It was still a good salad, but they should edit their menu.


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