Art’s Amazing Table on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica
By Taylor Van Arsdale
I love eating food with a steak knife. Breakfast—steak knife—lunch—steak knife—even when, and especially when the meal doesn’t warrant using one. So this rebellious epicurean knew from the moment she sat down at Art’s Table (for breakfast) and the tableware was a fork and a steak knife that she was going to love this place, and then love it even more during dinner.
Art’s Table on Montana Avenue is the brainchild of Mark Verge—hospitality developer and owner of “a slew of award-winning craft cocktail bars, restaurants and hotels…and the founder of Westside Rentals.” His Managing Partner, and Chef, Mark Mittleman rustles up one-of-a-kind taste treats for folks looking for great meals.
The restaurant style itself is American-eclectic and has the vibe of a rustic, upstate New York family restaurant—I say this because it reminds me of those fun places my parents took me to as a child en route to camp, yet it manages to maintain that Montana Avenue chic. There’s outdoor dining—which draws a lot of families—inside dining, and seating at a small bar in case either of those choices are full up—and believe me, they are full up most of the time. There’s also a fine selection of wine and beer but what really draws the crowds is the Mittleman’s fine cuisine.
Chef Mark Mittleman is originally from New York and his dishes tend to incorporate diversity, passion and that one-of-a-kind East Coast sense of humor. For example, he serves up whimsical dishes like, Tony Montana Corn—a Cuban-style charred corn, cilantro, aioli, chili oil, queso fresco, and lime concoction that will make your mouth water. The Beet Salad—a personal favorite—is a mixture of roasted baby beets, black quinoa, hazelnut, citrus slices, goat cheese and fresh chervil ($10). If you want a starter that will send your date over the edge, try the Mini Eggplant “Parm” — a Japanese eggplant fried in gluten free panko, paired with herbed ricotta, oven roasted tomato and topped with a marinara and basil oil sauce ($12). Everything is so amazingly delicious—you’ll find yourself coming back again and again to try them all.
For dinner opt for the Wild Sea Bass with jasmine baby carrots, kabocha, squash puree, black garlic chili sauce and gremolata ($22) or if you’re craving something a little more dense, you cannot go wrong with their Homemade Turkey Burger ($16). It comes with goat cheese, baby onion confit, roasted tomato, frisée, garlic aioli, served on a warm challah bun. Add some sweet 16 [potato] curly fries and you’ll be the happiest you’ve ever been.
1002 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403