This past week Bess (my bloggie bestie) and I tried M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica, a veggie friendly upscale Main Street newcomer. Lettuce Entertain You, the Chicago-based hospitality firm which has been part of LGO Santa Monica since its inception, took over full ownership of the venue, and changed the restaurant’s name from La Grande Orange Cafe to M Street Kitchen on April 14. M Street actually serves a similar to LGO menu with many of the restaurant’s most popular eats (Brussels Sprout Salad, the Green Chili Burger) but added several new items as well, including a daily vegetarian special, sushi and buzzed about desserts. They serve brunch, lunch and dinner and have a dope happy hour menu to boot. Our interest was piqued.
Bess arrived before me around 6:30 on Thursday evening and was able to grab a table without much wait, but within minutes everything got super packed. I would suggest making a rez if you know you will be eating at M Street to avoid waiting around for a table. There is free underground parking, a huge plus since Main Street can be a nightmare to find meters on (especially during prime dining hours). Now let’s talk food!
M Street Kitchen2000 N Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
- Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 8 am – 10 pm, Fri-Sat 8 am – 11 pm
- M Street has a great vibe – upscale, romantic, and hip. Sleek and modern looking inside, there’s an intimate candlelit mood at M Street, and in the future I would love to take advantage of the comfy and refreshing outdoor patio dining they have as well. However, Thursday night was especially chilly, so Bess and I were pretty content with our prime table in the front of the restaurant.
- M Street has a huge bar and a massive cocktail and wine list.
- After reviewing the menu Bess and I decided to do some splitsies (not surprisingly) since not only do we have the exact same palate and food likes/dislikes, but we both love tasting a little bit of everything. God I love eating with my food twin.
- After checking with the waiter to make sure the items we ordered were entirely vegan (or could be made that way) we decided to share an app, a salad and a main. Our waiter was incredibly accommodating and sweet, contrasting rumors that M Street was sporting some sub-par staff. Def not my experience at all.
- All of our food came out at the same time (which we thought was kind of strange to be honest) but Bess and I were pretty hungry so we shrugged it off and dug in. We first tried the Brussel Sprout Salad we ordered, but both of us were overwhelmed by the orange and citrus flavor of the dressing, especially since the dish advertised a honey-mustard dressing not a citrus one.
Bess and I tried to eat a couple bites but the dressing proved to be too intense and overpowering for our palates. Our waiter graciously let us exchange this for the spinach salad which came out in minutes. If you like citrus you might like it but for me this was a huge thumbs down not to mention false advertising.
Meanwhile we tore into our delicious looking sushi app – The Sweet Potato Tempura Roll.
This roll was bomb! Loved the sweetness of the japanese bbq sauce paired with the vegan tempura battered sweet potato chunks and creamy avocado. Big thumbs up to this unique sushi roll which I would gladly order again. I love when vegan sushi doesn’t suck!
Our new salad was absolutely delish as well.
In fact, this salad was my favorite order of the night, so thank goodness we didn’t end up settling with the brussel situ. The heirloom spinach was almost kale like (yum!) and seemed to be massaged with the dressing creating a nice wilted texture. The dressing itself was absolutely to die for – super creamy, a little salty and definitely lick the fork worthy. Two huge thumbs up for this salad – def a must order at M Street.
For our entrée we split the vegetarian tacos.
- I loved loved these tacos EXCEPT for one small issue Bess and I now fondly refer to as “the ghost pepper incident.” Let me preface this by saying Bess and I are NOT spice wimps. In fact I like spicy food a lot. k, keep that in mind. On the plate was one grilled pepper, which we assumed was a mild jalapeno or something like that. We both put our designated half in our self-made tacos. I took a bite and Bess nonchalantly popped the entire pepper/taco roll up in her mouth. Within seconds we were gasping for air, chugging water, fanning ourselves and stuffing as many corn tortillas as possible in our mouths just to try to combat the hellishly hot fire going on on our tounges. 20 minutes later Bess’ eyes were still watering uncontrollably. WTFFFFFFF. For two people who are self-proclaimed spice lovers, this pepper situation was inedibley spicy. It was downright hellish. Other than that (minor inconvenience really ha!) these tacos were bomb. The veggies were charred and nicely seasoned, the tortillas were hot and fresh and the rice and beans were delish. I would order this again but request that whatever that evil pepper was come nowhere near my dish. Highly suggest you do the same, unless you enjoy not feeling your face.
- Overall I really did enjoy my meal at M Street Kitchen. The service, ambiance and food were all above average and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the dishes we ordered (minus brussels and ghost pepper). Since there are not many vegan items on the menu other than the ones we tried, I don’t know if I will be rushing back, but M Street is def worth checking out especially if you plan to do a night out on Main Street.
- Your Vegan Girlfriend