Small plate dining brings old world charm to Santa Monica in new and inventive ways. Traditionally seen in the hot and cold plates of Spanish cuisine – along with selections of wine and spirits – tapas is expanding in international derivations and influence.
Santa Monica is the ideal place for it, attracting visitors from around the globe to our casual and social lifestyle. Tapas dishes, in turn, are great for a quick meal in town - when small portions will do.
Check out these top restaurants favoring local and seasonal ingredients in their tapas, and comer bien en el camino – eat well on-the-go!
Taberna Arròs Y Vi
This recent addition to downtown features multi-regional Spanish tapas.
Menu highlights include cider-braised chorizo with chickpeas and piquillo pepper relish, cauliflower fritters, and roasted organic mushrooms with burrata. Add a selection from the extensive wine and beer list, and a dessert such as gluten-free honey cheesecake.
Takeout is available for pickup. Open for lunch and dinner.
1403 2nd St., 310-393-3663, www.tabernala.com
Main Street Spanish tapas favorite Manchego is finalizing its move a few doors down to a larger location.
One will still find seasonal offerings, vegetarian items like zucchini with feta cheese, mainstays such as white Spanish anchovies or jamón-wrapped dates, and more. Mancheo will now also offer a full wine collection.
Takeout is available for pickup. Open for dinner and weekend brunch.
Opening soon at 2518 Main St., 310-450-3900, www.manchegoonmain.com
Stop in at this popular Spanish tapas bar while exploring the nearby 3rd Street Promenade.
Select dishes like charred Brussels sprouts with Spanish jamón, and a daily house pastry with chef-inspired ingredients. Smaller pintxo plates include toasted almonds with sea salt. Also, look for the daily paella, Spanish wines and beers, and market items to-go.
Takeout is available for pickup. Open for dinner, weekend brunch and seasonal (June-August) weekday lunch.
109 Santa Monica Blvd., 310-458-2012, www.barpintxo.com
While shopping at Santa Monica Place, visit this gem tucked inside Nordstrom. Although not traditional Spanish tapas, the restaurant’s cuisine is globally-inspired.
Try the local cheese plate with quince jam and natural honeycomb as a starter or dessert. Main selections include crispy parmesan polenta and arugula salad, and miso-glazed black cod. The menu features many gluten-free items, and offerings from its wine bar.
Takeout is available for pickup. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
220 Broadway, 3rd floor, 310-752-4110, find them here.