Manchego On Main
By Matt Bates
Photos courtesy of Manchego On Main
The saying goes, ”if ain’t broke don’t fix’ it” but sole proprietor Ashkan Amir couldn’t disagree more. Amir saw greater potential in his restaurant Manchego and decided to do something about it. He wanted to create a more intimate atmosphere while retaining the homegrown bistro feel. A grand re-opening features light wall colors, rustic Edison bulbs combined with prospector lanterns, and, most importantly excellent customer service that sets the mood for any date night or occasion.
Conveniently nestled on Main Street in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, Manchego, is quickly becoming a local favorite. If you are looking for a place to grab a drink after a day basking in the Golden State’s sun or a romantic night on the town taking in the laid-back beach culture that so well represents this town, then Manchego hits the mark.
The smiling staff makes you feel a part of the family and greets you as if your presence is expected. A colossal wooden candle-lit chandelier (think renaissance romance) is the room’s focal point and sets the tone as guests take their seats for a meal. If you are inclined you may also enjoy the fully stocked rustic style bar outfitted with hanging wine glasses and vintage wine casks.
The house blend sangria replete with chunks of whole (locally grown) fruit is the perfect refresher to get the evening started. In the mood for red? Aspirall, a 2011 Grenach, is a little spicy with a mellow finish that complements perfectly Manchego’s blackberry topped chorizo appetizers. Opting for white? Try 2011 Licia Albarino and pair it with the chorizo mushroom lasagna served with Idiazabal cheese, or the Goat Cheese en Pan Tostado served with honey, figs and truffle oil—this is a favorite, sure to please any palate. Be sure to finish with a fresh Creme Caramel topped with an edible flan flower.
The new space includes a romantic back patio area, revamped menu items and creates an even cozier dining experience. The back patio is an ideal place to hide-away, hang out or unwind after the hustle and bustle of the week. Added bonus: the open, screen-protected roof allows the stars to shine over your head and heat lamps keep you warm well into the night.
If you’re looking to grab a nice meal with friends and family or have a charming night with someone special Manchego is the place.