A fine American restaurant is worth a third floor mall search.
Carefully hidden on the third floor of Santa Monica Place Mall, beside the Arc Light theatre and across from the new Children's Museum is THE CURIOUS PALATE. An adventurous small restaurant with fine food, the owner goes to the SM Wednesday farmers' market weekly to buy organic fruits and vegetables.
These are blended into a varied dinner menu of entrees, salads and home made noodle dishes. The food can be accompanied by a large selection of beers, wines and ciders . There is no hard liquor served. Their lunch menu includes salads, sandwiches and burgers, plus a children's menu.
The furniture is made from reclaimed lumber taken from a teardown on 24th street in Santa Monica. Several large tables faces the huge glass window opposite the museum, and there is a smaller selection behind the front which would be ideal for small parties.
English pea soup, garnished with bacon was served in espresso cups and on a coolish evening hit the spot. Ceviche was made from yellow tail garnished with crisp taco chips. Roasted Brussel sprouts with burrata and creamy yellows beets was a fine textural and colorful contrast. A Thai seafood curry included swordfish, salmon, shrimp and mussels in a spicy sauce, served over homemade noodles.
Personally, I must admit i was running out of steam, but the beef course was broiled, tender and accompanied by roasted cauliflower. The desert was persimmon cake, the top finished with a slice of apple and served with homemade persimmon ice, drizzled with chocolate sauce.
The dinner was elegantly served on small white plates.
The head chef, Noe Lopez has combined cuisines-Asian, American, Italian, Mediterranean- and with such variety can offer the casual diner a fine selection both for adults and children with less sophisticated palettes.
A fine choice for dining in Santa Monica.
Below are a few interesting facts owners Elliot and Mark shared about The Curious Palate:
All sauces and condiments are made in-house (includes jams, peanut butter, ketchup, cole slaw, sauerkraut, etc.)
All meats are antibiotic free and hormone free and come from sustainable agricultural farming
Fish & shellfish are sustainably harvested and delivered fresh daily
Produce is pesticide free and majority organic; purchased at local farmer's markets
Only wholesome, natural ingredients used (i.e. non-bleached flour, no corn syrup, rice bran oil, no artificial additives or preservatives)
Use paper straws and compostable to-go cutlery and cups