For some people, the idea of St. Patrick’s Day conjures up the dreaded anticipation of a rowdy, whisky-saturated evening, bar hopping between a few local Irish pubs. Santa Monica boasts a fair number of Gaelic bars including O’Brien’s on Wilshire, Sonny McLean’s just across the street and Finn McCool’s on Main Street. These few pubs, so perfectly matched to the four-leaf clover holiday, will be jammed with revelers before happy hour even begins.
But here is an idea for anyone who wants to celebrate and not be overrun by the crowds. Why not try the Pacific Dining Car on Wilshire Boulevard, a block from 26th Street.
A staple in Los Angeles since the 1920s, Pacific Dining Car opened a second location in Santa Monica in 1990. It is a 24-hour restaurant; with a special late night menu that goes from 11p.m. to 6 a.m., turning into a full breakfast that rivals the Polo Lounge.
Start off your St. Paddy’s Day celebration with a cocktail at their elegant bar, served by a barman dressed in white dinner jacket and tie. Enjoy a light meal of Chesapeake Bay crab cakes, an heirloom tomato salad, or a grilled artichoke with mustard sherry dressing.
The menu is varied and sophisticated, from the steak dinners that made them famous; New York, prime rib, T-bone and filet mignon, which can be ordered in various ounce sizes to high quality seafood including traditional Maine lobster tails and the more contemporary sautéed ahi tuna.
Best of all, their barman makes a seriously potent Irish coffee, arriving at the table to float the cream with a spoon over the steaming brew. This could be the best way to toast the Irish, enjoying a more serene and lush evening just steps away from a growing line snaking out from the entrance of the pub.
For more information go to: www.pacificdiningcar.com