As a food person who teaches cooking I often get asked what my favorite restaurant in L.A. is- a daunting question for anyone due the magnitude and expanse of such a place as Los Angeles. How about narrowing it down a bit- why not wonder what my favorite Italian place in Santa Monica is- now we can actually have a stab at an answer don’t you think?

Well I went to such a place on Saturday night with my husband and although we have been there a number of times I still vote for Capo on Ocean and Pico as hands down the best meal I have had in Santa Monica.

Wow- now that is quite a claim, but seriously this place is un-real! I know, I know it is expensive, but what are we talking about here? Any good restaurant anywhere – even on an island in the Puget Sound is expensive. The minute you have food made to order with any type of atmosphere and decent service you are looking at $100 per person for dinner. So Capo is a bit more than that- it is well worth it. I for one don’t enjoy most restaurants because I can cook better than most and often find the trendy-ness of a place a huge turn-off. I love to find somewhere like Capo that has been there for years and is not over-run with trend spotters where the food is fantastic, service professional and atmosphere romantic and cozy.

We had the tasting menu as there were so many choices I figured let the chef decide what is best. I am glad we went that route although with eight courses it was a bit too much food for me. It began with a home-made white corn ravioli which was divine and moved on to a wonderful artichoke salad, delicious baked crab, porcini mushroom soup, heirloom tomatoes with burrata, grilled branzino, seared New York steak with fava beans and finally ended with a plate of home-made cookies, tiramisu and crème brulee. Whew!! This was enough food for us to have split the tasting menu- but who knew. Next time we will have know how to order. We both truly enjoyed the entire experience with no complaints and would love to return if only to sit at the tiny bar and enjoy a glass of wine and  one or two appetizers.

This is the perfect place for a special occasion or a romantic dinner for two and reminds me of the great restaurants in New York.

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