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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 - 10:00pm
Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm
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

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.2

ambience

4.5

value

3.7

Noise

Moderate

77% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (23)
Creative Cuisine (22)
Good for a Date (21)
See All
Romantic (19)
Special Occasion (18)
Great for Outdoor Dining (18)
Good for Birthdays (15)
Quiet Conversation (15)
Neighborhood Gem (13)
Notable Wine List (13)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Local Ingredients (11)
Cozy (10)
Good for Groups (10)
Healthy (10)
Business Meals (9)
Good Vegetarian Options (9)
Tapas (7)
Authentic (6)
Fun (6)
Hot Spot (6)
Seasonal (6)
Worth the Drive (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (5)
Organic (5)
Tasting Menu (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Happy Hour (3)
People Watching (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Scenic View (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Casual (1)
Great Beer (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Waterfront (1)
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1087 reviews
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 (Los Angeles)·Dined 4 days ago

New chef and great energy!! The room is gorgeous and the garden unmatched in Santa Monica. Our meal was delicious and the wine ( a Malibu pinot) was superb. This is a true gem right in my back yard.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

The service and food were fantastic. Michael was as friendly as always. The ambiance is special. Unusual menu that was delicious.

Tags: Fun, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on January 13, 2018

A lovely garden surprise! First visit and not disappointed. Our shared dishes of sea bass and chicken were delicious - the chicken especially, a flavor standout! Friendly, helpful, accommodating staff - and the owner stopped at the table for a brief chat. Now we'd like to try the NYC Michael's!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

This was a great place to dine. The owner came over as soon as sat down to introduce himself and chat. The servers were extremely attentive and the food is remarkably good. Highlight: my friend and I are both gluten free so instead of bread for the table we were provided with a huge salad! Will be eating here again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Gluten Free Options, Good for a Date, Business Meals
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Amazing food and great service. Very creative dishes and reasonable prices. Great cocktails try the fig cocktail.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 1, 2018

Such a beautiful spot! My friend and I had some great food here celebrating New Years Eve! We even met Michael himself! Great service and great tasting food. A very romantic feel to the place. Absolutely loved it and recommend it !

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Brunch, Bar Seating, Romantic, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Scenic View, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 1, 2018

A consistent treasure for culinary adventures. Have returned a few times and Michael's never disappoints. Plus the staff are wonderful!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Healthy, Organic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We have been dining at Michael's in Santa Monica for over twenty years now, and though this gem of a restaurant has undergone several changes in management and food style, it has remained one of the finest dining experiences on the west side and continues only to improve, maintaining its reputation as an icon. By the way, yes, Michael still owns it and his touch remains obvious.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 31, 2017

I came here to have a nice new year's dinner with my wife. The food was subpar. The fish was mushy and very fishy. The persimmon appetizer was just cut-up fruit on a plate for $14 with nothing else on it.

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food1
ambience2
service2
value2

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

Wonderful evening at a beautiful garden setting with Michael the owner greeting everyone. Loved the unusual food and atmosphere. I will return

Tags: Good for Groups, Fun, Great for Brunch, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on December 28, 2017

The Peruvian Beans were exquisite, along with everything else in the menu. Good mix of meats and seafood. Would go again!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Boise)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Perhaps there's a trick to eating here that we missed but, from the limited menu, we found it difficult to create a well-rounded meal and, while most of the dishes were creative and delicious, the overall experience was ultimately not satisfying. Each dish was served in a bowl but the combination of the bowls and candlelight made it impossible to see the food. Meanwhile the wait staff were pleasant, attentive and enthusiastically described the foods they seemed to enjoy serving.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Adelaide / SA)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Fantastic as usual ! The food, service , and general vibe was excellent. Shout out to our server Marc- great service!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

The hamachi wing was way too salty. The pork loin was way too fatty. Given the price of everything else a charge of $7 for bread seemed unfriendly. Would not hurry back.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Gorgeous restaurant, delicious food, wonderful hospitality. Perfect for entertaining family, friends or business, or for a romantic date night. Dining at Michaels always feels special, most beautiful restaurant in town and the food is to die for.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Healthy, Romantic, Tasting Menu, People Watching, Seasonal, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Organic, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 21, 2017

Freezing--extra heaters at tables insufficient. Food just okay, but very expensive, and small portions. Disappointing.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value1

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

Best place in Los Angeles for 30 years!!!! The new chef is great. Michael and Chas are great. Best art in the city. Great for all occasions as all become special occasions.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Authentic, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Healthy, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 16, 2017

I have been coming to Michael's on and off for decades. I'd last gone when it was revamped and a new chef was brought in, about two years ago. I'd enjoyed my meal a lot. I went this time, and was very disappointed, starting with the menu. First, and this was weird, we got a reservation last minute. I was surprised. But that's because the place was only half full on a Friday night.
I'm not sure I've seen a more limited menu at any fine Los Angeles restaurant I've been to in the past five or ten years. Two or three vegetable starters and then mostly meat dishes and two fish dishes. The starters were fine. One bean dish. One broccoli. Since I was with a group of non-meat eaters, we all had the black cod and it was incredibly fishy and unappetizing. None of us ate it. The server was extremely nice and helpful. He took some items off our bill. I won't be returning. P.s. shocked to hear that the chef won best up and coming chef.... Something's not clicking. Such a great space, nice ambiance. Wish the food matched it.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 15, 2017

The menu is not very large, so we ordered everything, but did not have dessert because it was getting late. Everything was wonderful, although the hamachi collar was salty. Some of the dishes were enough to give the seven of us a good bite, so I wish the waiter would have told us that we didn't order 't have to order two of them.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

The garden dining area was beautiful and we loved the shared dishes. The food was delicious and the chef was more than willing to alter our dishes to non-dairy. We definitely we will back!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

Very nice dinner. I did not like the dessert; my wife loved it as she is not into sweets.
Would definitely go back.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Organic, Creative Cuisine, Great Beer
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 9, 2017

For all the hype, Michael's is very poor value, among the restaurants in its class.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value1

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Michael’s became a tapas bar .... what a disappointment no more table cloth on table definitely not a place for special occasion and very expensive , a copycat of Jose Andres but not quite same standard .

Tags: Tapas
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food3
ambience3
service5
value3

 
·Dined on December 3, 2017

I had a reservation booked weeks in advance with friends visiting from out of town that were very excited to eat at Michaels. We arrived at the restaurant to find that it was closed due to unforeseen circumstances. We did not receive any advanced notice about the closure and were scrambling to find another restaurant last minute.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 3, 2017

They closed for a broken water pipe so we had no experience at all. Said they would make it up but so far nothing.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (London)·Dined on December 2, 2017

One of my favourite restaurants anywhere. Great setting, brilliant service and interesting menu

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Fun, Business Meals, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2017

Friendly staff and great food but ambiance is a bit dull. No table linen, no candles

Tags: Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Tasting Menu
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Have been to Michael's over the years. Menu keeps changing but food is always fabulous. And great service.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 21, 2017

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

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

We enjoyed the meal and service. The mains were uniquely cooked and seasoned. That was quite a surprise and indicated the great flavor to Michael when he came to our table. Enjoyable evening. Will be back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 19, 2017

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

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