Shameless Foodie: 1212 Santa Monica

Working by the Third Street Promenade was a lot of fun, but the stores and restaurants mostly stay the same there. It’s rare for a restaurant to pop up directly on the Promenade. So when Monsoon went under and 1212 Santa Monica opened up in its stead in the coveted space next to Chipotle, I headed over to give it a try.

On a sunny Friday afternoon, one of my interns and I decided to sit on the patio at 1212 and enjoy a leisurely lunch. Luckily for us, we timed our visit perfectly with dineLA! We received a three-course meal for just $20. Far from being a discount meal, the serving sizes were huge and the food quality high.

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First up was the market salad, which comes with mixed greens, kale, Brussels sprouts, blistered tomatoes, prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and a mustard vinaigrette. We are both vegetarians, so we ordered the salad without proscuitto. The salad was amazing! Shaved Brussels sprouts were a fun touch. Even the cherry tomatoes had a twist – they were peeled, with the skin left on but separated. I’ve never seen tomatoes served this way.

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Already we were full from the salads, but then the second course arrived, and we had to make room. The Farro Puttanesca is a delicious, filling and healthy dish that I would eat every day if I could. The farro is cooked with San Marzano tomatoes in a puttanesca sauce, and mixed with Mediterranean olives, capers, garlic and basil. Every time I try to cook farro myself at home, it turns out to be a massive failure, so I savored every bite of this dish.

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Dessert was a choice of gelato. I ordered the cherry gelato and couldn’t stand it. It was runny and tasted somewhat like soft cheese left out in the sun – ew. Nikki enjoyed her coconut gelato, though.

All in all, it was a delicious meal with a beautiful patio. I have been back since and intend to keep visiting!

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