Day 16: Zengo

Zengo is Japanese for give and take, which is how we ate our meal tonight at Richard Sandoval’s Latin Asian fusion restaurant atop the newly redone Santa Monica Place.  This hip and chic eatery (the whole Santa Monica Place for that matter) bears no resemblance to that old dreary indoor 80’s mall.  The decor features a mix of Mexican Glass Lamps and Asian Antiques and leans toward the dark and clubby, it has both indoor and outdoor seating with a fireplace place and has quite a hopping bar scene.

The food is served in small portions (tapas style) and our waiter recommended 2-3 plates per person.  Last time we ordered like that, there was quite a bit left over… So we ordered one plate each and one for the table.  In total, we had the Carnitas Over Rice Noodles, the Ahi Tacos w/Mango Salsa, The Flank Steak Churrasco, a Wagyu Beef Roll and an appetizer of Wok Tossed Edemame, which had a very different, but delicious smoky flavor.   Everything we ate caused us all to talk, you could taste all the flavors in each bite and we had a great view.  This was our third visit and so far it’s failed to disappoint us.

Day 13: Gjelina

By far, one if my favorite restaurants in all of L.A.! Great for brunch, lunch and dinner. They are under construction to open a to-go spot next door for those of us who don’t like to wait.  There are no reservations for parties under six. They take the freshest ingredients and make something delicious, so you can taste all the individual items and have it still be something new. This isn’t one of those restaurants that tries too hard to make something original and ends up tasting so-so, everything is so yummy.   Just go!