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About Michael's - Santa Monica

Michael's Santa Monica has maintained the standard for 'California Cuisine' with our newly renovated art filled indoor/outdoor garden dining, bar and private party spaces. Our seasonal menu is composed from the finest ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market and products responsibly sourced from the best sustainable producers.

1147 3rd St.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Californian, Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Monday 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Tuesday 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Wednesday 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Thursday 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Friday 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Saturday 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Sunday Closed

Cross Street:
Between Wilshire Blvd. and California

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(310) 451-0843

Website:
http://www.michaelssantamonica.com/

Parking Details:
Valet parking offered daily. Public lot next door.

Executive Chef:
Miles Thompson

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Michael's has 2 private dining spaces available for groups of 2-40+. The full restaurant is also available for larger parties. Please contact Director of Special Events, Laura Barner, for details. (310) 451-7470; laura@michaelssantamonica.com

Private Dining

Michael McCarty is one of the founders of California Cuisine-food inspired by the best ingredients, simply cooked and beautifully presented. Michael's prides itself on excellent service & customer satisfaction in a beautiful dining area.

Michael's - Santa Monica Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.6

value

3.9

Noise

Quiet

88% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (29)
Romantic (29)
Special Occasion (29)
See All
Fit for Foodies (28)
Creative Cuisine (28)
Good for a Date (26)
Good for Anniversaries (21)
Neighborhood Gem (20)
Good for Birthdays (17)
Quiet Conversation (16)
Notable Wine List (15)
Worth the Drive (14)
Local Ingredients (14)
Good for Groups (13)
Hot Spot (12)
Bar Seating (10)
Business Meals (10)
Cozy (10)
Authentic (9)
Healthy (9)
Seasonal (9)
Casual (8)
Tapas (7)
Fun (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Tasting Menu (6)
Organic (5)
People Watching (5)
Great for Lunch (4)
Happy Hour (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Scenic View (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Comfort Food (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Live Sports (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Vegan (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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1058 reviews
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·Dined 4 days ago

A fabulous dining experience. Great, interesting food in a gorgeous environment.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 6 days ago

Michael’s was a horrible experience. I have never felt compelled to write a review before. That’s how bad this was. I made reservations here for our anniversary. Just from the reservation confirmation call the day before, I began to be concerned. On open table I mentioned it was our anniversary as well as mentioning it again to the cold blunt person on the phone call. Not once during our visit did anyone wish us happy anniversary or even ask us the reason for our visit, or how our evening was. We were offered our choice of water upon being seated, but it was a good 15 minutes before we were offered cocktails or menus. The staff was polite. We ordered 5 dishes to share. The bread was cold and flavorless. The squash was horrible. The pici tasted like chef boyardee except for the meatballs themselves. The Denver steak was fine, but way overpriced for the cut that was served. The hamachi collar was foul. The squash and the fish went back to the kitchen nearly untouched. The waitress was told the squash was bad, and she just said oh. We didn’t even bother giving feedback on the hamachi. Rather than stick around for a horrible dessert we decided to leave and see what we could find on the promenade. So unfortunately the best part of our anniversary was to stroll down an outdoor mall to eat dessert and coffee at a Cheesecake Factory. We got to pay $180 for this amazingly subpar dining experience. Parking was easy and convenient, especially for Santa Monica.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value1

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Such interesting and novel recipes with unexpected flashes of flavor and texture, each with its own unique identity. A truly special meal with friendly, attentive, knowledgeable service.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 4, 2017

The service was impeccable and the food is so delicious

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Michael’s has been around for more than 30 years, and continues to bring GREAT food to Los Angeles. This place is a gem!

Tags: Authentic, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Be warned. This staple of Santa Monica elegance has grown into an expensive rip-off. Michael's is in the last throws of relevancy; past reputation being tarnished to dullness by poor kitchen quality control and cost-cutting menu short cuts. Something called Denver Steak is not steak, as we learned, but beef shoulder. Chewy and tasteless and ultimately uneatable - and over $40! The pork/veal ragu had a container's worth of salt cooked into it but took so long to come to the table we ate it all. Another 20 minutes before the next course arrived though the room was only half populated. The "famous" ambiance is now a dark (very dark) courtyard where, forget reading a menu, just seeing the food would be good. Maybe better it's in darkness. Maybe we were spared.

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food2
ambience2
service4
value1

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Fabulous creative food. Chef is a magician with vegetable creations. The broccoli dish was simply outstanding, a sense of surprise with every bite. Hamachi Collar with similarly delicious, creative and surprising. We would have enjoyed our food even more if we could have been able to see what we were eating. The lighting was so dim we could read the menu only with our smart phone flashlights and we could not see the food well enough to tell the wonderful ingredients apart...

Tags: Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Which is Michael's for a Saturday night dinner during a very short stay in Santa Monica. It was our one dinner out in La so we wanted to make sure we did something good but still local to where we were staying. I found Michaels on La Weekly's list of 99 must see restaurants in Los Angeles. It's a well-earned place, both for the legacy of its reputation dating back to the 1970s as well as it's entirely new life with a new creative chef. I don't think Michaels is getting anywhere near the attention it deserves at the moment. We had a fantastic meal that was thoroughly enjoyable in every way. I highly recommend it.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Very disappointed in Michael's. Used to be a very reliable Lovely dinner spot. These are the things that went wrong. 1. Rude hostess, would not seat us in the garden, insisted all garden tables were booked weeks in advance (we did have a reservation). Sat us at a tiny table in a walkway. We declined the table and asked to wait, after about 20 minutes we were shown to a garden table. From the minute we walked in until we left there were always 2-4 garden tables open. 2. We sat a very long time without a waiter, water, menus, or offer of a cocktail. We asked every passing by staff member for help. Someone did bring us water, someone else menus and someone else took our drink order. Eventually a waiter appeared. 3. Waiter was very inattentive, he offered us bread that was ice cold and tasteless, then we found out we were charged $7 for it. 4. We each ordered 2 items, we understood that plates are shared, but we specifically ordered two items, one each, to start and two items to share as seconds. They brought out my starter and main together and then 20 minutes later brought my husbands starter and main. We complained and basically we're told oh well, that's how they do it. 5. Food was not very good or even interesting. The only commendable dish was a chilled broccoli with a fried poached egg on top. The pasta was terrible, kind of a refried tortellini, very hard on the bottom. The pork ribs were tasteless and the chicken was only mediocre. Final complaint. We literally did not recognize any of the bourbons or scotches on the list and only one gin. People like brand names, not cheap small batch weird spirits. Off my list forever!! They are in dire need of a manager to make sure things go smoothly.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 14, 2017

We came to Michael's to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't send us anything special in honor, however the food was amazing. Every thing we got was out of this world. The brocolli salad topped with fried egg yolk had the perfect pairing of flavors in which you would not expect would go together. The octopus was perfectly cooked. Then we had the ribs which were outstanding. The sauce was so delicious. The ambiance is wonderful. Loved it. Very very pricey but worth it.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 13, 2017

Michaels was at one time such a great place. It is still a lovely setting, but sadly the food on the VERY limited menu was not up to par. The service while pleasant was minimal, leaving you waiting for long periods of time, only to be served very mediocre dishes. Michael came by the table, and was charming as always, but that couldn't make up for the lack luster food. As a side note, they now charge you for bread and butter. It was nice bread and butter....but seriously. We won't be back until this restaurant comes to its senses and brings the food once again to the level of the ambiance.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 11, 2017

Despite marking the Open Table res as a "birthday event" and speaking to the host when I arrived, the birthday came and went without acknowledgement from the staff. Even after we sang Happy Birthday to the honoree. Oy.

Wonderful food but served in the total darkness in the garden. The flashlight feature on our phones revealed how beautiful the presentation was. Without our phones, who knew it was so attractively presented?

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food5
ambience1
service1
value2

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Food was outstanding and service started good but once our server had more tables, we were a complete after thought. I had to ask twice for my same empty water glass to be filled. We asked about deserts and he didn’t come back to take our desert order for 20 min so we just asked for the check instead. Would go back but probably would want a different server.

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food5
ambience5
service2
value3

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 8, 2017

A beautiful evening in a gorgeous setting with a delightful waitperson. The variety of dishes were flavorful, some worked better than others. Unfortunately, both of us had severe digestive issues within twelve hours!!!! So we're not going back.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

Tiny menu of "family style" dishes. No reason for this to be family style. Food was just fair and had very little choices to chose from> No Grey Goose is served there which is my vodka of choice. Service was just fair as well. The patio used to look better. No reason for me to return there.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

The staff at Michaels was superb. From the hostess at check-in to the wait staff and manager who teed up an excellent wine selection for our experience our evening couldn’t have been more special. The ambiance in the restaurant was wonderfully romantic and the acoustics allowed for intimate conversation amongst the sounds of many other reveling diners. The food was off-the-charts delicious. Angela and I shared the broccoli (to die for), hamachi collar and branzino. The food was prepared perfectly and we paired our meal with a spectacular Barbera from Italy. In summary we dined like kings and queens and will always remember our spectacularly romantic date at Michael’s. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Exceptionally creative and delicious food, excellent service and garden ambience. Limited menu, expensive. Inexpensive public parking a block away. Would be good also for a group sharing meals.

Overall, excellent but for foodies, not beef-and-potatoes fans.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Just good times. Everything was perfect the food the garden setting the service. Going back Saturday and probably every Saturday after that.

Tags: People Watching, Good for a Date, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 29, 2017

We met Michael! Lovely outdoor space.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 26, 2017

Best meal I’ve had in LA hands down. Chef Miles is a wizard

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Tapas, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Paleo Friendly, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 24, 2017

This was for our 5th wedding anniversary and Michael's was perfect. Great atmosphere, wonderful staff and the food is excellent. Thank you

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 22, 2017

The patio dining is gorgeous - one of the best patio settings in LA. Romantic or festive - does not get much better. The food does not match the surroundings. The menu is not sufficiently varied and the flavors and dishes are uneven - nothing was wonderful and memorable and a couple items were poorly executed. I would only recommend it to someone who is really looking for a spectacular setting and some good wine with food being an aside or afterthought. For a couple, request table 39 - corner table looking out on the entire patio.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
·Dined on September 21, 2017

Had a dinner at Michael’s on my girlfriend’s birthday. This is the first time visiting there and the atmosphere was great. We really enjoyed the outdoor setting and the food was cooked to perfection.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 19, 2017

My daughter and I dined here on a Monday night, so the restaurant was quiet, although about half of the outdoor courtyard tables were full when we left. Extremely attentive staff; the owner introduced himself; all the food came out as described and was scrumptious. The Thai ribs were succulent and spiced well but not too hot. The orechiette with sausage was sublime. These are sharing plates mainly, but could be an entree for a light eater. But with such delectable choices, I would recommend sharing. The wine list is impressive, while a bit pricy for everyday dining. The prices per glass were a bit steep, so we opted for a bottle. I only drink wine, but the crafted cocktail choices were enticing. The outdoor courtyard was IDEAL, surrounded by lush greenery and an open air roof, that staff offered to close if the night became too cool. More of an escape from hectic LA; you forget you are in the City. Very enjoyable and would return.

Tags: Worth the Drive, People Watching, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 17, 2017

The ambiance is absolutely beautiful, that's really the best thing on the menu. The specialty cocktails are delicious. The food is tasty but it matches the ambiance, relaxed and chill. We ordered 5 items and the best item was the potatoes because of the butter/parmesan/bonito flakes. I'm a big fan of Chef Miles and would love to taste his tasting menu if he had an opportunity to explore.

Tags: Business Meals, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 17, 2017

Fantastic experience. The outdoor patio area is magical. Great for special occasions or groups. Has private dining area upstairs that is amazing. So hard to find a spot that can accommodate a group of 10-20 and have a private area that is so beautiful. Love the changes to the interior and the new menu items.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 17, 2017

Michael's still is a gem. It may not be on the current list of "in" places, but it always delivers good food and good service. The ambiance is perfect in the patio. It is a classic!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

Went to Michaels on the last night of our honeymoon. Food was fantastic and, as others have stated, the outdoor dining area is really lovely.
All of the waiting staff were really friendly and helpful....when they were there. The service was haphazard, with no one (or two) people responsible for each table - which meant that you either got asked the same question a number of times, or were ignored for long periods. We really felt rushed out the door at the end of our meal too, which was not great.
Overall would definitely recommend going (ambiance and food were great), but the service needs to improve.

Tags: Fun, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Calgary)·Dined on September 15, 2017

Out of the 15 or so times I have been there, this was the only time I came away let down... undercooked food... service where they are grabbing plates out from under my nose when I have a fork in my hand... portions got smaller... Deserves another chance since it was brought back to life... But this visit was a let down...

Tags: Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 10, 2017

We went to Michael's to celebrate our anniversary. The food and wine were both great. The ambiance was very romantic and enchanting with the jungle-like setting for the terrace and patio. Above all else what stood out was the friendly and attentive service. The wait staff - including the owner himself - went out of their way to make sure we had everything we wanted, gave enthusiastic menu recommendations and generally made us feel like we were regulars who had been coming to this restaurant for years. Well, I can guarantee now that we will be coming back to Michael's for years to come.

Tags: Organic, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 10, 2017

Food was inedible highly salted, very small portions, ask for Michael to come to table and he never did. They sent dessert to our table also inedible. The restaurant is beautiful but would not go back.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 10, 2017

For a menu that was meant to share like tapas, found it to be expensive. Quality was mediocre and the food was served luke warm. Will not go back.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
·Dined on September 10, 2017

We had a wonderful evening! The food was excellent and the wait staff were marvelous. The restaurant is beautiful and is the perfect setting for a special occasion.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Love the food, atmosphere and the wait staff is great!!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Still the wonderful ambiance and food that it was over 35 years ago when we first went there. Attentive relaxed service, creative delicious food and Michael will probably stop by and see how things are!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Fun, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 6, 2017

Best restaurant in Santa Monica. Nothing else like it.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 6, 2017

Loved Michael's! Would definitely come back again. Very innovative food.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 3, 2017

Great space, talented chef. The bread is fantastic as are the hamachi collar and yellowtail, among other things.

Tags: Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Server was horrible with a bad attitude. The bread was the best thing we ate. Cute back patio but based on the food/service would definitely not suggest coming here nor would I ever come back. Oh also, it was my fiancés birthday dinner and requested some sort of dessert but they told me the kitchen was closing and we had to go. Embarrassingly bad service.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Great menu and delicious cocktails - this was a fun location for dinner. The mixed greens salad was our favorite dish. Nice and friendly staff and the owner took the time to check on all customers. Perfect for just drinks too.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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