Santa Monica Place Dining Deck Overview

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Restaurant Santa Monica


STOP #3: Xino

We started in the bar of the modern Chinese restaurant, where stylish waitresses dispensed Red Lanterns, sweet strawberry lemon drops with sugared rims.

Restaurant Santa Monica
Hilarious chef-owner Chris Yeo and his wife guided us on “a trip to China,” providing guests with three tastes of food. “If you don’t like it, I’m the owner. If you like it, I’m the chef.” Kitchen Manager Luong Nguyen was by Yeo’s side and it seemed like he may have heard this joke before. Yeo owns four branches of Straits Cafe, including one in Atlanta with Ludacris, and a sister restaurant called Sino on San Jose’s Santana Row.

Restaurant Santa Monica
The top bite at Xino was undoubtedly their Colorado lamb chop seasoned with cumin, lemongrass, basil, cilantro and since other spices, plated on a bed of pumpkin risotto. They also dispensed spoonfuls of sesame tinged tuna tartare and glutinous mushroom dumplings filled with Portobello, shitake and button mushrooms, seasoned with white truffle oil, micro wasabi leaf and plated with golden beet puree.

We transitioned to the spacious patio, which features another bar, cabanas and views of the Third Street Promenade. Not all of the furniture was in place yet, and Yeo joked it was on a “slow boat from China.”

STOP #4: Zengo

Cocktail Santa Monica
Our first taste of Richard Sandoval’s food was at a branch of Zengo, his Latin-Asian fusion concept, which translates from Japanese as “give and take.” We started with what was probably the best cocktail of the night, a tamarind margarita with a shichimi togarashi lined rim.

Restaurant Santa Monica
Denver based corporate executive chef John Calloway treated guests to four tastes from the restaurant, including chipotle miso glazed black cod with braised daikon and shichimi togarashi aioli; braised short ribs and mashed potatoes with hoisin adobo sauce; daikon Peking duck tacos with apple curry slaw; and lemongrass panna cotta with passion fruit sauce.



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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