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Permanently Closed - Bistro of Santa Monica

4.1
201 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - See inside Bistro of Santa Monica with our Virtual Tour: http://bit.ly/1coSJhA

Drop in for lunch or dinner and discover the real meaning of genuine Cuccina Italiana. Specializing in unique and authentic Italian dishes, including fresh seafoods , Steaks, Chops and Veal. An excellent wine list. A full bar with great martini list. And top it all off with the Bistro's Special dessert: The Chocolate soufflé.

A romantic setting in a historical 1890 building with an original tin ceiling and stained glass, the enchanting strains of live Italian music flowing nightly, and signature dishes created by a master chef and served by a friendly, professional staff.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, Seafood, Steak
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday 3.30pm=10.30 pm

Closed on Sundays except for private parties.
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Phone number
(310) 899-9917
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Private party facilities
We at Bistro of Santa Monica with 25 years of experience in hosting weddings, receptions,birthdays and anniversaries welcome your personal or Company’s events. We offer private rooms for parties of 40 , 80 or 100, with full bar and large wine list. please visit our web site bistroofsantamonica.com
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Private party contact
Michael Rogers: (888) 494-1712
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Catering
We cater to all business and private parties up to 100 people. Please call for more information.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
23rd Street
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Entertainment
Piano bar 7 nights per week.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 201 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on December 27, 2016

We had a wonderful evening but very disappointed to find out that the restaurant is closing for good Jan.1st 2017. It was always a good restaurant to go to when we were in Santa Monica. Sorry to see it close.

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4.0Dined on December 13, 2016

It is too sad that the restaurant is closing. We liked it very much.

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5.0Dined on October 26, 2016

Our favorite place to stop in Santa Monica. Two block walk to St John's Hospital.

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5.0Dined on September 22, 2016

This is my go to place for lunch when in Santa Monica. Very close to freeway and a few blocks from the beach. Always very good/great meals, easy parking in back(free). I eat here 1-2 times a month

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2.0Dined on September 10, 2016

I am so disappointed over this place. It started with the The valet parking just being a guy collecting your money and not parking your car. The prices led me to believe it was quality. It was terrible. The sauces tasted pre-packaged. Everything was super salty telling me it was not fresh. It was just an all around very poor experience. The waiters were dressed sloppy and both needed to wash their hair. They were very nice and accommodating as best they could be.

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3.0Dined on August 17, 2016

Loved their gnocci and our server was the nicest, so polite and accommodating.

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1.0Dined on July 18, 2016

WE go there about once or twice a year for the past 3-4 years and loved the experience. This time we walked up and it had a B rating. We shrugged our shoulders and went in figuring that they would have taken care of any problems. We both had our hearts set on the Osso Buco. After we sat down they waiter came over and said ( it was 7:00pm) they were out of the Osso Buco and out of Veal. My wife and I looked at each other and decided to leave.

It's a shame because we have had some good diners there and the ambiance is good. I hope they fix their "B" rating and I'll definitely call ahead to see if they have the Osso Buco.

Despite our one bad experience out of probably a dozen other times give them a try. Normally it is a very good experience.

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5.0Dined on July 16, 2016

I have an elderly father that can't hear very well, and having the restaurant opening opening early for dinner is key for me. We were there around 5 pm and actually we might even go a little earlier because we were the only ones in the restaurant. Noise level can get very high in there when there's a lot of people in the restaurant. We had a great time and excellent food. Deafly would go back there again!

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5.0Dined on July 13, 2016

The food is outstanding and service is great.
We had the kale Caesar and salmon risotto - to die for. Piano player in the restaurant sets a romantic mood

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4.0Dined on June 25, 2016

Food was delicious, and piano player added nice mood music. Not too loud, pleasant.

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2016

This was the best Mothers Day lunch. The place was beautiful; food amazing; service phenomenal all at a very reasonable price. We had a party of 12 and they were very accommodating . In fact; the past 3 days my family keeps bring up how nice it was.

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2.0Dined on April 30, 2016

One of the six guests at our table ordered a dish that was incorrectly filled. The (wrong) item was returned and about ten minutes later the correct order was delivered to the table. However, the order was undercoooked in as much as the cook was probably asked to do a fast job on the order since 5 out of 6 guests were already served. The undercooked/quickly cooked order had to be retured as inedible. To the server's credit the cost of the order was deleted from the bill.

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3.0Dined on April 23, 2016

The service was wonderful! My blackened halibut was amazing! My husband was not impressed with the shrimp and scallop risotto- it was a cup of creamy rice on a plate with sautéed shrimp.

The atmosphere is depressing- very out of date and the elderly piano player sing Sound of Music was a bit much. My husband and I - late 50s- were youngest there on a Saturday evening.

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5.0Dined on April 22, 2016

Food was prompt and very good. soufflé was very good. Staff was attentive. Live Piano player on Friday night.

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2016

Bistro offered a classy atmosphere and fine service.
At issue: the piano music was way too loud. Typically,
a piano bar sound is softer and diners do not have to
speak over it. I enjoy live music during a meal but only
if it does not overwhelm.
The dinner was good but not particularly memorable,
compared to, say, Osteria Mama.
Sadly, Bistro is also one in a long list of restaurants that
only offers calamari fried as opposed to steamed in a
marinara sauce or sautéed. Fried I associate with less
rated eateries. Or, maybe Bistro learned it's the only
way Americans want to eat it.

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4.0Dined on March 5, 2016

Food was wonderful can't say enough about the food, The server was very well-versed so, give him great kudos for that, noise level was a little loud but overall it was a great meal. And I would go back!

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Fantastic food, the piano player was a nice touch. Romantic and a great place overall. I will be coming back again.

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5.0Dined on January 22, 2016

A lovely restaurant with great food, warm service, a piano player adds to the fabulous ambiance and reasonable priced.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2015

Had a lovely, leisurely dinner with soft music in the background that allowed us to talk with others at our table. Everyone enjoyed the food. Service was very good.

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4.0Dined on December 24, 2015

had a very nice dinner there on Xmas Eve. Penne Vodka was wonderful, Caesar Salad was delicious and the Lamb Shank outstanding! will be back.

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3.0Dined on December 24, 2015

We went on Christmas Eve for a nice holiday meal, and enjoyed our night out. We each ordered steak meals, which were tasty and cooked perfectly. Nice ambiance and the live piano music was a treat. Great martini list as well! We'll be back!

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5.0Dined on December 18, 2015

This restaurant has it all but the few times I've been there it just takes way too long to get the food out. When the food does come it's fantastic. This must be an issue with expediting in the kitchen If they could fix this I would be here all the time.

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5.0Dined on October 31, 2015

We went on the recommendation of another UCLA parent. We live in northern California, so we were very happy to find such a good Italian restaurant not too far from campus. I had the halibut and it was tops! The portion size was so big, I had to take half and give it to my grateful son who then didn't have to eat at the dorm cafeteria the next day!

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5.0Dined on October 10, 2015

Lot's of light with live piano music twice a week. Food and service were both great!

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5.0Dined on August 27, 2015

We went here with another couple who were visiting on vacation. This was our first time here, but not our last. Excellent service and great food. One had a club sandwich, one a salad with seafood and 2 with their special-pasta with baby scallops (so many) mushrooms, and spinach. Delicious. Service staff was very attentive. Lovely lunchwith friends.

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4.0Dined on August 15, 2015

Delicious food, with James as a great server, and great prices. Loved the piano playing in the background. (It is amazing that the world has not yet found this great little gem.)

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4.0Dined on June 26, 2015

Reliably good food with large portions and pleasant ambiance. Enough creativity to keep it exciting. Weekend pianist not too distracting. We selected the Bistro to allow conversation during dinner, and it was an excellent choice.

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3.0Dined on June 26, 2015

Though the service great the food was not. Glad I had a restaurant.com certificate. The waiter was fantastic. Did not enjoy the extra kick in the penne vodka, fettucine alfredo had no flavor nor did the chicken dish that we had. Very nice ambiance and the piano player was nice.

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2015

We have been going The Bistro for a family dinner every year when we come to town for more than 10 years. The food is consistent, original,always well prepared and reasonably priced. The wait staff is pleasant and attentive and it is nice to see the owner always present and going around to welcome guests. Even when every table is occupied the noise level is not loud and it is nice to be able to talk to others at our table without having to shout . There is always someone playing a piano near the entrance which makes for a pleasant background during dinner.

No question we will return again

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5.0Dined on May 4, 2015

I went to the Bistro on Monday with my wife and friends. The waiter James was very knowledgable and made great suggestions. He suggested a dish called the Alberto which was great. The two steaks ordered were cooked to perfection and fettuccini Alfredo was great as well. Some of the best fried calamari I have had, definitely fresh.

We have driven by many times and really glad we finally tried it. The ambiance is really romantic with live piano playing the old standards in the evenings.

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1.0Dined on April 17, 2015

I've been here before so recommended it to meet with some friends. After my last visit, I would not come back nor recommend it. firstly there were 4 in my party. My salad Nicoise w/ seared tuna came w/ steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots over( I think) I mixture of iceberg and romaine lettuce. Looked like the leftovers from the night before! The tuna was cut into small pieces, (not a hunk of tuna, sliced) blackened or some sort of coating. Needless to say, it was horrible and not as the menu describe. My dish and one of my companions hot dish arrived. then we waited 15 minutes and had to ask twice for the 2 sandwich orders. the request of light dressing on the side salad was ignored and the salad arrived coated in dressing. another table of 2 which arrived after us was served first. when we complained we were told the kitchen was backed up. mind you , w e had a reservation... There was a large party at the restaurant but I based on their size , I would assume they had a reservation - there shouldn't have been any surprises for the kitchen

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1.0Dined on April 14, 2015

The most bland food I've ever eaten at a restaurant. Particularly the chicken tortellini soup, it literally tasted like nothing, and all the salt and pepper in the world couldn't fix it. And I'm pretty sure all the ingredients were frozen at some point. Nice waiter, though.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2015

Found you on the internet It was very nice, was exactly what I was looking for.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2015

Music playing in the background was great. My fiance even commented and how great the ambience was. Not noisy but enough noise to feel comfortable. Definitely looking forward to our next visit

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2015

Had reservation for valentine's day! Place was on the corner...perfect view of Santa Monica. Place had a piano player through out the night. I would totally go back on different and enjoy

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5.0Dined on February 11, 2015

OH how I LOVE this place. Such amazing service and even better food. My husband and I came here for a nice dinner and are now in love with this place. Such old charm romance. I absolutely love this restaurant. Our server was such a sweetheart and so receptive. Everyone from the hostess to the waiter to the owner were incredibly nice and accommodating.

My husband ordered the Prawn Scampi with sautéed shrimp with white wine served over nice fluffy Basmati Rice. And I ordered the New York Pepper Steak. Oh WOW. HEAVENLY. The meat melted in your mouth. BY FAR THE BEST STEAK EVER. The Prawns were perfect as well. I am not too into seafood but I loved the flavor of this dish. My husband loved it. I have a feeling we will be making lots of visits here.

SO HAPPY I FOUND THIS NEIGHBORHOOD GEM!

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2.0Dined on February 7, 2015

Let me start with the one positive thing I can say about this restaurant. The food is very good. We all enjoyed our meals. But service was terrible so it doesn't matter how good the food is b/c we will NOT be going back.

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5.0Dined on January 30, 2015

I absolutely love this place! I came here on a Thursday night and it was great.

Food: SUPERB! I ordered the seared Sea Scallops, Sauteed Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli and WOW, it was incredible. Everything was so flavorful and cooked to perfection. You could taste the fresh lobster, it was so butter and tasty I love how the ravioli was perfectly made, not too starchy like most places. I loved it.

My wife got the Fresh Sanddabs with lemon butter. She is a huge fan of sanddabs and its VERY difficult to find restaurants who serve it and usually when they do, its not very good. However, I had some of it and it was so fresh and flavorful. I loved it!

Service: EXCELLENT. Our waitress was so sweet and helpful. She was very attentive. Our food was on time, and she was always checking to make sure we don't need anything. My wife is super picky and wanted so things customized and she was so sweet about it and super accommodating. I was very pleased with the service.

Ambiance: GREAT. It's a rather large place, and such a great place for a big group. The ambiance is great, good lighting, good music, and excellent service.


We will be here for V-Day. Great place.

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3.0Dined on January 20, 2015

This place was absolutely dead on a Tuesday night. Service was the bright spot, as our server was friendly, knowledgeable about the wine list, and attentive. The most annoying part was the piano player who was terrible, then soliciting requests and tips from us because we were the only people in the restaurant. Then he said the song I requested was too long, so he went ahead and played something else, terribly. Anyway, food was OK, service good, ambiance good, piano player terrible.

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5.0Dined on January 15, 2015

My husband and I had heard about this restaurant several times and we decided to give it a try. And boy am I glad I did. Everything was spectacular. I loved the food...they have a great selection of pastas, seafood and steak. I loved the atmosphere, it was so chic and romantic. The ambiance was antique vintage romance. Everything was well designed and you could tell the owners really love what they do.


My husband had the lamb shank served in a Bordelaise sauce and was perfect!!! The meat was tender and juicy and the sauce was right on point. I had the Insalata Di Mare with shrimp, calamari, and mussels and it was excellent. Seafood can be tricky, but they nailed it. The shrimp was large and flavorful, the calamari was perfect, not rubbery like most places. I am so thrilled about this place. I think I found a gem of a restaurant.

Their service was also terrific. Our waiter was so pleasant and helpful. Very knowledgeable about the menu and had great suggestions! The also have a great selection of red and white wines as well as a full bar.

Great food, excellent service, and a full bar. What more can a girl ask for? I most definitely recommend trying this place.

Tip: There is parking in the back. And on most days they have live music :)

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