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.
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.
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.
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!