Orto Santa Monica

4.6
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104 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Growing up in Italy, my family cooked at home and had the most extraordinary experiences with ingredients grown in our backyard, paired with the wines my chef/restaurateur stepfather would bring back from regions throughout Italy. I fell in love with food as a child watching my stepfather, once nominated a top chef in Italy, work in restaurant kitchens and floors. Moving to California in 1991 and subsequently to Santa Monica and experiencing the Farmers Market inspired me to start Orto - Italian for “vegetable garden” - where I meld local ingredients and organic herbs grown here at the restaurant to create traditional Italian recipes. At our bar you’ll find a cocktail list created from fresh herbs and premium spirits, and our wine list focuses on sustainable and organic producers.
You’ll often find my wife and kids in the restaurant, continuing the culinary legacy of our Italian family. We welcome you with open arms and hope you’ll join us to experience our restaurant.
Andre
What 104 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

The pasta there is pretty much one of the best I ever have in LA. The atmosphere is great there, feels very romantic, best for a date. The only thing was they mark up their wine like 6times, so pay attention what you order. If you don’t drink, then don’t matter.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Not busy - average experience. Food decent. Would’ve been better with more people. Maybe check on the weekends?

C
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific menu -- traditional Italian with a modern + locavore twist. Lovely decor. Nice wine list -- full of great Italian options plus Californian labels as well. Attentive, friendly wait staff. Will definitely go back!

P
Los Angeles
38 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Another wonderful meal. One of the best Italian restaurants in town.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a neighborhood gem. I am coming back!

OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food in a comfortable environment. The staff is very attentive.

AR
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food

AT
Los Angeles
47 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice meal

S
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is great! They use the freshest ingredients. Just like dining in Italy!

ES
Orlando
10 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Always nice to come back. It all good but kinda dark (the lights are so dimmed) !!

AF
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When I'm trying to find a place that will please my family, it's a balancing act. I think this is one of the first restaurants I've been to where everybody left satisfied. The atmosphere was quiet and comfortable, perfect for intimate conversations. The lighting was low and soothing. The staff were all attentive, kind and polite. The FOOD was some of the most exquisite Italian food I have had in my life, lovingly crafted, delicious and plated beautifully. Definitely a place I plan to return to for another special occasion.

RE
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is amazing- the owner takes in everything that comes out of the kitchen, make a great wine recommendation (fit the food and my budget). I recommend to all and will go back!

S
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Good service. Nice to see that it's getting disovered== I would like it to be here for a while!

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food impeccable, service on point, beautiful atmosphere.

ER
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our guests were first-time diners at Orto. Two of them described their main course as "the best dish I have ever tasted". everyone was delighted with the food, service and overall experience. As good as it gets!

B
Los Angeles
36 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Orto is an outstanding wonderful little Italian restaurant here in Santa Monica. Our dinner was fabulous! The service was wonderful and the"Spice me" drink incredible. One of the most authentic Italian dinners that I have ever had. Neighborhood gem!!!!

g
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent authentic dishes, and fantastic al dente pasta made in house. I would love to come back to have a private party to use the upstairs loft area. Highly recommend!

A
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Otto has hired Edin, formerly of Aroma’s of Silverlake as its chef. He has a particular special mushroom appetizer called Tortino that is now on the menu. This dish is one to dream about!! We traveled to the Westside especially to have this dish which we have missed terribly since Aroma’s closed. We were not disappointed. It was a very busy Saturday night and the restaurant was full and thus, noisy. Food quality is superb and though prices are high, we thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

SB
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new restaurant close to the Promenade. Fresh pasta and seafood by those who really love what they do. Well worth the visit.

N
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Amazing food and great service. Not many other diners at lunch but a great experience nonetheless

PE
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Menu specials are always spectacular. We are regulars who enjoy every aspect of this consistently
relaxed, fine dining experience.

JC
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful four course dinner which was for Dine LA. The salad had an excellent dressing. The Branzino was as good as I have ever had with a wonderful seasoning. Would love to return.

RL
Los Angeles
120 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

A very dependable Italian cuisine with a variety of choices and specials.

Everyone we have brought here for dinner has been very happy with the dining experience.

S
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely place for a quiet conversation-great for a date! Service is excellent and the food is wonderful. My date was curious about this new restaurant and very happy to be taken there.

RT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The Italian food had excellent flavor.

MG
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very enjoyable, high quality food and service. Loved the pasta dishes. Definitely coming back.

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don’t usually write reviews, but the food here is outstanding.

f
Los Angeles
67 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We have eaten here several times and never have been disappointed. The service is excellent and the staff very helpful. I ordered swordfish and the waiter returned to say the chef was not happy with the quality of the fish and gave me the opportunity to order something else. Sitting upstairs is pleasant and less noisy but the general noise level is not bad. We will certainly return

o
Los Angeles
26 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were an early reservation and it was nice to catch up with a friend from outside the area and the restaurant is quiet early in the evening. The food was nicely prepared and served. The service was attentive without being overbearing. A guest will get good Italian food, not necessarily memorable or overly artistic in presentation, but fresh and satisfying in a pleasant atmosphere.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

I ordered clams and spaghetti. The clams were DRIED OUT and many SPOILED ones. My spaghetti was also very dry. My husband’s steak was ordered medium rare and it came so well done that the meat was dry and stiff. We each ordered one drink and they were delicious. Also, our server was just as horrified by our food as we were. The service was good in light of the food.
Thankfully, they comp’d us for our entrees. Still, would rather have paid full amount and enjoyed what I was hoping to be a lovely dinner.

LG
Los Angeles
32 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you are looking for a charming, intimate restaurant experience, this is for you. The Negronis are superb, and the frito misto is exceptional. Service is good too.

MM
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

food and service were outstanding! I travel frequently to Italy and find the chef and his menu truly authentic, creative and especially delicious! We will certainly be back!

OT
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Interesting dishes that were done so very well... some of the better pasta I’ve had in a long time. Service was amazing!

RC
New England
5 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I thought the service was terrific very personable. Pleasant atmosphere and terrific food choices

EG
Los Angeles
52 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Something's wrong when, in a town with so many businesses - old and new - people would rather eat at their desks than go to lunch at a place as remarkable as Orto. For a business lunch, the ambiance is ideal - quiet enough to be heard and attentive enough to let conversation progress without worrying about the service. For a rendezvous with friends - the kind who get together over lunch - Orto is equally appealing... for all the same reasons. (Of course, it's just at good for dinner, but it's overlooked at lunch.)

And then there's the food. I've eaten all over Italy. North, south, east, and west. And Orto is like a trip back to Veneto. The dishes are inventive, the ingredients are fresh (there's an herb garden in the middle of the dining room), and they pass the triple taste test: one taste at the first bite, a second as you chew, and a third by the time that you swallow.

The desserts made me think I might want to be fat, but I restrained myself, and the coffee was as good as I've gotten at Bellini in Florence - rich, smooth, and not at all bitter. The only thing missing is the sound of Italian at the tables around you (and the notion that lunch lasts three hours and the normal workday ends at 8 o'clock, as a result).

MB
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal. Great food, service and ambience. The real Italian experience!

S
Los Angeles
16 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good for a nice date and conversation.
I was surprised how quiet it was -- though a weekday visit, I don't know how it will last if not more people. Food and ambiance was excellent.

MA
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently excellent.

BS
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Good, but over priced.
Much better Italian food nearby for the same or less price. Service was friendly but very rough. Waiter clanked and banged dishes around on the table like he was working in a military mess hall. Octopus dish was delicious! Pasta was acceptable but nothing to write home about.

LR
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always so good. Can’t wait for a return
Visit. Such wonderful Italian food.

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