Michael's - Santa Monica

4.4
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1442 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
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.
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Private Dining

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What 1442 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.8
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall2food4service2ambience4

We didn’t get everything we ordered and the sommelier was rude and condescending. Very disappointed in this visit.

c
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Had early reservation sat right away. Waiter was friendly and knowledgeable. Early on Michael the owner came over and gave us such friendly greeting I was half-wondering whether we had previously met!

The food was great especially the sliced Wagyu steak and rabbit sausage pasta. Excellent wine selection, I will be back to see my “buddy” Michael.

m
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place!!! Everything on the men is amazing! Love the pea tendrils salad, the whole deep fried fish, the pasta with 3 kinds of caviar, and the sun chokes are the bomb!!! Beyond that the service was impeccable and this might just be the most romantic restaurant in the whole city!

LS
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I hadn't been to Michael's in thirty plus years, as I'd moved out of the area. My memory of the restaurant was that it was a stellar dining experience. Well, it is still a top notch dining experience from beginning to end. The wait staff is courteous, efficient and professional in every way. The French gentleman serving us was outstanding. He recommended the Tagliatelle for two with truffles (which coincidentally was what I'd planned to order) and it was one of the best, if not the VERY best I've had. Uppercase compliments to the talented chef. The oak lettuce salad - superb! Did I mention that I'm a picky eater who likes her food to be clean and high quality or I won't eat at all? We had the great pleasure of Michael coming to our table (as he did to others), which further explains the longevity of this premier dining establishment. I could write a book on how much my husband and I enjoyed celebrating his birthday at Michael's. Absolutely no complaints!

S
Los Angeles
52 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The new expanded menu is a major hit! We had the delicious lamb ribs and anchovy pasta to start (all of the five pasta choices looked delicious) and split their classic crunchy green salad (a holdover from the limited old menu) and then split the smaller size crispy flounder, which was outstanding. Their cocktails were as good as ever.

Very attentive service to, but the patio wasn’t close to being full at prime time on a Thursday evening.

Do yourself and the restaurant a favor: Give the new menu a try!

C
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Michael’s is one of those places you can count on for great food, excellent service and wonderful ambiance.

MV
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

New Year’s Eve
Five Courses
All Devine
Beautiful restaurant
Excellent service
Thank you!

f
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Michael’s never fails to impress, with the exceptional service, wonderfully prepared and well timed courses and the quiet and comfortable ambiance that has made Michael’s an icon, it is always an adventure.

SM
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Liquor and wine costs were very inflated. We ordered 2 cocktails and 3 glasses of wine and, tip added, we paid $140.

R
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

I thought I would be raving about their food based on their michelin rating. Sadly I can not based on their price fix 4 course dinner, which sadly was so so. On to the next restaurant.

w
Palm Springs
53 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

New Year's Eve first seating: Intriguing menu, but we did not really enjoy the execution of the flavors (for instance, scallop starter was a cold dish). Service was a bit impersonal and perfunctory. It's a two-hour drive from Palm Springs to Santa Monica, so we were disappointed in the evening. Perhaps it was just the high expectations of the occasion and special menu. Michael's has been a special place for our family. We've always appreciated the owner's (Michael) presence; he wasn't there this time.

DD
Naples
53 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Special eve of dining with great service in a garden like setting.
Diver Scallops meaty and succulent. Pastas good. Plan on $75 pp.
Cocktails $14 each and delicious. If able to take advantage of bar specials would start there. The eve we arrived, the outdoor specials billboard was not current.

BT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For our special wedding anniversary dinner, this was the perfect choice. All was great. We sat in the patio and although it was a bit chilly outside, not in the patio. There were portable heaters near our table and the temperature was perfect. Food and service were great. We will certainly look forward to returning in the near future.
Thanks for these Great 40 years Michael.
Sincerely,
Lynn and Bob Tobias

BM
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is always a wonderful and novel treat. Service excellent.

LH
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I prefer larger tables and white tablecloths...especially with the high prices we paid for our food and beverages. No happy hour specials or house wines offered. We had to pay for bread and butter!!! And the cheese plate suggested to go with our bread and butter was $25.00. That's incredible!

The selection of entrees is limited and very pricey. I guess everything is becoming so very expensive due to minimum wage, taxes, taxes and more taxes!! It's California! But I was disappointed at the price of a glass of wine...I know your profit on that was huge! If it had been a reasonable price, I would have most likely had two glasses.

Too many people coming over to our table asking if we were enjoying everything...way too many times. The one guy with the longer curly hair appeared unprofessional...we were confused who he was...how about an intro?

I know you want honest feedback, so this is all very honest.

Sincerely,
Claire ( Les' wife)

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

I was disappointed with the service. Our waiter was attentive, but not in a positive way. It felt as if he was “selling” instead of serving. The food was not as consistent as in my past experiences at Michael’s.

XL
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best food on the Westside (pasta is excellent quality and truffles are really tasty), the garden is beautiful and the ambiance romantic, the service is really good with attentive wait staff and Michael himself comes around personally to make sure you are enjoying dinner. Pricey, but worth it!

SC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic evening. Great food great service, great ambiance. First time we've been to Michael's and definitely will be back!

AP
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A visit to Michael's is always a great pleasure. The cuisine is delicious, with bright and distinct flavors, extraordinary ingredients, in imaginative combinations. The ambiance cannot be beat. Michael's is a treasure trove of contemporary art. The service is gracious.

SK
Los Angeles
28 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Waiter very knowledgeable about menu and wine list and very tall ! The food was cutting edge and we had a superb meal in an ambience that could only be Southern California. Every time we eat here it’s different and special and the seasonal ingredients are superb!

N
Orange County
10 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I had last been to Michael's 40 years ago! My memory of the meal we had back then, has stayed with me all this time. Of course the menu has changed significantly since then, and the food was very good, this time, but not up to the old standard.
We ordered 4 small plates, the scallops, the persimmon salad, and the Jerusalem artichokes, along with the Rigatoni. All were pretty decent, just not outstanding. Dessert was the Pavlova, which was good, just a bit drier than I'm used to. The cocktails are excellent.

C
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

I made the mistake of going to Michael's the other night. I've lived in Santa Monica for several years and have only gone twice - now I know there was a reason for that - and I don't plan to ever go back. Not only did it take nearly hour from seating to the first appetizer to appear (which was 6 oysters) after relaying this frustration to the manager nothing happened. He never checked in on us, never took off a meal from the check, and seemed to avoid us. By the time we got any food we were so hungry I don't even remember what the food tasted like. We were there for a brutal 2 hours and 20 minutes for two courses a bottle of wine and a 300 check. We had to ask for water multiple times. The somm seemed to be under the influence. I truly am shocked this place is still open. They must have an older crowd that has been going there forever and only goes out of habit.

M
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Unfortunately this restaurant is nothing like it once was. Terrible experience. Although we had a 7:30 reservation we did not get seated till 8:30. Our yellow tail appetizer was very plain. Our $72 flounder was tinny. We left hungry. This place was once great. Not anymore.

l
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, atmosphere and service. Had dinner there with 5 friends was the perfect evening.

JG
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best night in LA EVER! Our waiter was FANTASTIC, and very attentive to what turned out to be an incredibly busy evening. We will continue to come every year for this celebration night :-) Thank you!

R
Los Angeles
36 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The patio reminds me of Le Vallauris in Palm Springs. The food is much improved with the new chef. Now if only you can get vanilla ice cream so I can have an affogato for dessert! Good going, Michael.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best restaurants I have been to. Food is so tasty ambiance is gorgeous.

PP
Los Angeles
93 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Very nice! More casual than how it used to be- younger crowd, some rowdy at the bar or celebrating something in the outdoor dining area. We liked the personal discretely placed small heaters by our wall side table.

R
Los Angeles
36 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Michael's finally has a good menu with excellent choices. I have always enjoyed the atmosphere but the food had gone down over the years---there was no creativity. The new kitchen crew is terrific!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enchanting atmosphere and well choreographed service for any occasion.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Michaels is always a fantastic experience. Lovely ambience, with the best and freshest food. Service is 5 star all the way from hostess greeting to owner coming to your table to greet and ask how everything is....every time! Love this restaurant!

OT
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Pasta and seafood dishes are exceptional.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience5

Oh dear, Michael’s has lost us. We’ve so enjoyed Michael’s since 2006, but the restaurant has fallen WAY behind with EVERYTHING but the location. Anything pleasant I can say now starts with, “it used to be...”. Sadly we will not be returning. Mr. McCarty could (should) take a page from his NYC restaurant playbook. Sorry Michael, this time our visit was so disappointing.

OT
Toronto
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience4

Had the pastA with lobster. Pasta was so overcooked it was mush. Only ate a fraction of it. Mentioned this to the server and barely an acknowledgement. Still paid $36 for this dish. Very disappointing as I’ve eaten here many times over the years and have enjoyed it but this experience has soured me on Michaels.

G
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The beautiful setting of trees and plants transformed us - it was so beautiful it took our breath away. What a gem in Santa Monica - the food and service were also great.

JB
Los Angeles
17 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fine new menu. Two of us shared Coleman's salad, bouillabaisse, and a pasta special with cavier. Each was perfectly prepared and had taste surprize/delight. Service as always was warm and efficient.

GS
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

It's not what it used to be! Won't be back. Didn't have a cocktail item(everybody has Tanqueray). No cappuccino,lattes or expresso("machine is broken"-get it fixed.)

C
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Michael’s has a lush back patio with romantic lighting in the evenings. We were there on a Saturday night and enjoyed a 2.5 hour dinner with wonderful wine suggestions by waitress. The food was very good and overall experience was wonderful. This is definitely a local spot where friends like to get together or save for a nice date night.

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing! Noel is the best! Amazing recommendations and the sweetest.

MM
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

And thing is guaranteed when booking a table at Michael's: a fantastic meal. Always the freshest ingredients, intensely flavorful, beautifully prepared and graciously presented in the most bucolic garden setting.

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