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.View Private Dining Details
Michael's is a Santa Monica dinner classic that's recently been brought up to date.
We were celebrating our wedding anniversary, they gave us a very nice table in the patio area. The patio area had very nice plants and trees around, the top was covered and we had a small heater by our table; so the temperature was very comfortable.
The food was quite good, the salads had unique seasoning that were very pleasant. I had the best chicken I've had at a restaurant for a long time. The chocolate ganache dessert was delicious.
Classic Santa Monica restaurant that has apparently undergone some changes recently. My wife and I had a decent meal, but weren't wow'ed by anything. Just felt like they missed the flavor mark on a lot of the dishes. They also forgot two of the main dishes we ordered and we waited an hour for them. They happily comped one at least. Probably wouldn't return, but overall great ambiance, great drink selection and a fun night out.
We've been eating at Michaels for twenty-five years and believe this most recent iteration is perhaps its best ever. Wunderkind chef Miles Thompson is turning out a seasonal small plates menu that shows incredible creativity, versatility and at the same time sanity. The unusual combinations, such as baby broccoli with yuzu, blood oranges and white chocolate or Japanese sweet potato with seaweed, yoghurt and strawberries may sound a little over the top but they make complete sense as soon as you taste them. Rib eye and Branzino are standout large plates while cavateli is a great primo piatto.
Bravo Miles and Bravo to Michael and his family for having the guts to make bold changes to an an established institution. A packed restaurant on a Tuesday night was evidence that its working.
My boyfriend and I came here for our anniversary. At first I was very pleased after arriving- we sat at a lovely table, were given complimentary champagne, and the service was quick at the beginning. I was a bit peeved, because I preordered and asked that the staff did not provide us with menus when we sat, but they still did.
The food was interesting. The apps were all great- we got the octopus, the sweet potatoes, the salad, and the pasta.
My boyfriend’s entree came out a good 15 minutes before mine. Our server never came around to address this and never apologised. I got the chicken, which was hard to eat and not very flavourful. My boyfriend had the fish, which was not warm when it was served to him.
Overall, the aesthetic is great. We had a bad experience despite some redeeming parts of the evening. Would not recommend and probably won’t go back for dinner.
The food was less than mediocre with very few things to choose from. All and all, not the Michael’s I remember.
I'VE EATEN AT MICHAEL'S SINCE IT OPENED. I AM NOT PLANNING TO GO BACK? THE LIMITED MENU IS NOT WORTH THE PRICES BEING CHARGED. THE WAITER WAS INEXPERIENCED AND COULDN'T REMEMBER THE ORDER. PLUS THE OCTOPUS WAS BLAND. THE MARINATED PORK WAS TASTY, AS WAS THE BROCCOLI SALAD. BUT OVERALL THIS WAS A VERY MEDIOCRE DINING EXPERIENCE AND NOT WORTH THE MONEY.
Average but better than the Old Michael
Hiring chef Miles Thompson was brilliant. Brought this lovely restaurant back to life and relevance. It's such a pleasure to spend evenings in the gorgeous garden. The food is terrific and the service efficient, friendly and not too intrusive. Truly a special place!
Whenever I'm in Santa Monica, I make it a point to have dinner at Michaels. The food, vibe and service is always a great experience.
Some of the most creative food I've every had. The food and flavors were excellent and unexpected. Some of our favorites was the roasted broccoli with white chocolate bark and the rabbit pappardelle.
Waiters were very thoughtful and gave excellent selections. The octopus and quail were delicious. Flavors blended together and created layers of deliciousness.
This was one of those very good finds that we came across on the app while trying to find a place for dinner while traveling away from home. We had about a 20 minute wait for our table. The bar had a very interesting selection of handmade cocktails and wine by the glass and excellent service. At our table we were told that they served small plates to share. Our server, Rachel, adroitly guided us thru the menu. We started with Peruviana beans which had a nice touch of spice and black lentils. The lentils had a wonderful sweetness and pared well with the house buckwheat sourdough bread. The rabbit leg pappardelle was outstanding. This dish should be served with the excellent house bread so you can sop up all of the wonderful sauce in the dish. We went on to have very good quail and hamachi collar and finished with a wonderfully prepared Denver steak. The steak was perfectly medium rare, mosit and nearly fork tender. We will look forward to going back to Michael's next time we are in Santa Monica.
Really nice meal to take my parents to when they were in from out of town.
Michael's had been a long time favorite and what we felt was a gem...Until 2 weeks ago. As we hadn't been in a while, had been missing the lovely patio and heard there was a new chef, we decided to invite 2 other couples to celebrate a special birthday. Upon being seated in what we still think is one of the loveliest and most elegant settings in L.A., we experienced the worst dinner and service since we couldn't remember when...From A-Z. :(
We ordered several appetizers/first course items to share and then each ordered a main dish. Appetizer items came and were shared...
Then, one main came out before everything else, so we encouraged our friend to begin eating and enjoy...
About 20 min. later, 2 more came out...The absolute smallest chickens (young or not) I have ever seen and we could only manage to get about 3 decent sized bites out of each one.
Thennnn, the rest just NEVER came. A steak and 2 pasta dishes went MIA...Along w/ our waiter!!! He never checked in on us or stopped at our table after the food was served...In fact, we never saw him at all! We couldn't get an answer from anyone where the missing food went and when our waiter finally did make an appearance about 45 min. later, he simply said he didn't charge us for the 3 dishes we didn't get. No apology what so ever for the fact 3 people (all 3 large men, mind you) never got their dinner.
As we were all still hungry, we decided to order 2 desserts. Another disappointment as the taste, substance and presentation (which was especially bad) were so below par, we all agreed we could have done 10 times better in our own kitchens...And have!!!
As this is the first negative review I have written in probably a decade (or more), I am feeling very sorry that I feel I have to do it. Needless to say, I miss the old Michael's that we had so enjoyed and probably won't be going back.
Michael's new chef, Miles Thompson, has clearly put his stamp on this storied eatery, and a delicious stamp it is. Our party of 4 shared 8 dishes and there was not a single disappointment among them. His touch shows in the size and age of the crowd, bigger and younger than in recent years. We'll be back.
My steak was cold. Very expensive and was disappointed that the happy hour deals did not apply to the sit down section.
Outstanding in every way -- food, wine, service, ambiance. Thank you! We were celebrating a birthday and everybody at the restaurant made it feel like a special evening. We are so appreciate it. Love this place.
Meeting Michael was a treat! Thank you to the whole team for amazing service.
Brian is a terrific waiter. It is always nice to see Michael's friendly face. The mixed salad is fantastic! Fresh and yummy. Sitting outside is fantastic.
I really enjoyed the happy hour! Great selection of food and good wine. I would have loved to be able to order from the happy hour menu at a table. The meal was fabulous, but I felt like we were interrupted in our conversation every couple of minutes by wait staff which took away from the experience. I like attentive staff, but they should do a better job of stay away when we aren't in need of anything.
the garden is wonderful, but we unfortunately had the only bad table in the garden with two seats looking into the kitchen. Other than that it would be 5 stars all around. food was great.
Michael's continues to be one of SoCal's great restaurants. The food is superb and innovative but without pretension. The service from the moment you arrive is courteous and efficient. And the sommelier is knowledgable and steers you to a great wine without over selling.
Whenever I go to LA I see the immense dining options that come and go, but it is the restaurants that stay the course, past the fads and trends, that will continue to offer an exceptional dining experience. And Michael's is clearly amongst them.
Top one in Sta Monica. One of the most romantic patios in LA
Had not been here in years and heard it had been "refreshed" which was long overdue. The ambiance was lovely on the patio. Service was good. Drinks good. Most entree's were good with one exception with an item that we felt was too salty and overcooked. (octopus) But things happen. I don't trash a restaurant if one food item is not perfect though it's always better when everything is spot on. Would definitely return.
Husband is celiac and a number of the things we wanted to order were not GF and evidently could not be made GF because they contain soy sauce. Why a restaurant of this caliber wouldn't use tamari is beyond me. Service was very slow, even though we were among the first parties to be seated for dinner. Three of the four dishes we ordered were OK; the lentil dish was fantastic. I would not go back.
New chef- food was good. The problem with this place is that the interior hasn't been updated since the 1980's. It still has a very 1980's vibe the patio looks a bit haggard. It was unfortunate that we were there on a cold night and the patio heaters on the ceiling were not working. They had small portable heaters for the tables around the perimeter of the restaurant but those of us who were seated in the center had none. We were originally seated in front of the door leading to the kitchen- the great thing about this patio is the natural candle-lite ambiance where the plants are illuminated - very good mood lighting but the door to the kitchen kept swinging open and a harsh, florescent light would shine in our faces each time it opened. Basically, this restaurant needs an interior designer as good as the chef! The food was excellent and the service was great.
It was not a good experience because of the Manager Chase. I have always enjoyed Michael's restaurants and was excited to eat at the Santa Monica locations since I heard there was a new chef. I found the menu very narrow, especially on the entrees. There was only one fish option , Branzino and when my my guest went to order the restaurant had sold out so had to order the chicken instead. The chicken was under cooked and was flavorless. When we called the waiter who could not have been nicer over, the manager Chase then came to the table, apologized but did not remove the cost the chicken from the check. My guest is a close friend of Michael's and mentioned that to Chase also. I ordered the steak and that was very good.
We have been going to Michael's since the nineties , when Mr. McCarty was joining folks like Alice Mason in singing the praises of fresh produce and California cuisine. Now the menu has been totally overhauled with world cuisine and vegetarian choices, but the smooth machine rolls on running on all eight cylinders with a great menu and friendly and welcoming servers who are just as knowledgeable and professional as they are laid back.
I have been going to Michael's for years and loved it. But it has changed. The menu was limited and the food was too trendy. I missed the old dishes. The service was atrocious. I knew that the owners were not there because one would never be ignored and instructed as we were in a restaurant of this caliber normally. And were not in past.
Very disappointed. I hope it goes back to the old Michael's soon.
Service seemed haphazard. We had to flag down someone for every single thing. One ordered item was never delivered. That said, once we got someone to the table, they were quite pleasant. Food was great
I've chosen Michael's based on the reviews online, who doesn't nowadays.. But i must say im rather disappointed. I've been to many restaurants and i'm a real food and drinks lover. The ambiance looks great and even tho it was slightly cold they've put out heaters everywhere.
However; the price/quality combination of the food is just not right. In my opinion; way way overpriced. The portions are small, the products themselves are good, don't get me wrong, but it's not next level cooking you can ask so much money for. They dishes are basic combinations and not mindblowing.
Michael’s is both a fabulous restaurant and a neighborhood “joint”. The food is imaginative without being intimidating, the wine list accessible, but the overall feel is less restaurant than convivial home. Always friendly, never posh.
Fabulous food. Creative, fresh, seasonal. Brilliant chef and lively beautiful environment and great staff. Always a fun and delicious experience with great art on the walls and in the garden.
Terrible. Waiter rude owner rude. Will never go back
Our dinner was amazing! Perfect food - new tastes and combinations. We loved it all.
We moved to Santa Monica from Washington, DC in 2017. Michael's has become our favorite restaurant in Santa Monica for a truly enchanted evening. Three thumbs up all around!!
Michaels has changed the menu since we were there last, towards a more hip tasters-type menu, but we kind of miss the old one. Service is always excellent. We were disappointed to not be seated in the garden, we were in the raised area above it which is not as nice.