For a coastal city, Los Angeles has a disappointing selection of seafood restaurants. Sure, we have extravagant seafood temples like Providence and Water Grill, but at the street level, there hasn’t been much to look forward to, until now. The Cigliano family hosted a February 5 media dinner, leaving little doubt that when Santa Monica Seafood opens to the public on February 16, the family-run market and cafe will deliver an excellent casual experience.
Gerald Cigliano and Jack Deluca started Santa Monica Seafood on Santa Monica Pier in 1939. The family business has been located on Colorado Boulevard since 1969. Michael Cigliano, his sister and four brothers recently combined a nearby nail salon and Carl’s Jr. to add greater variety, a market-driven and parking,
A bar molded to look like a fishing boat? A chandelier made from a Dungeness crab pot? Drop-down lights shaped like jellyfish? Santa Monica Seafood makes it clear that seafood is the focus.
Order oysters at the raw bar using a checklist. Five varieties are listed each day on the blackboard. Order at the register from the overhead menu.
Sam Smith Organic Ale (England) ($5) offered a smooth sip that didn’t overpower the seafood. Pinkus Hefeweizen ($7) was too watery.
Westsiders are lucky to have such an exciting addition to the local dining scene. My only gripe so far: it’s 45 minutes away. With any luck, the market and café will do well enough to convince the Ciglianos to open an Eastside outpost.