Noisy, alive and slightly raucous – the Local Kitchen & Wine Bar is a true neighborhood spot that houses patrons, both young and elderly, with hipsters, young professionals, and multiple generations all mixing as one.
Maire Bryne, chef and owner of Thyme Cafe + Market, has opened up a cozy neighborhood bistro with chef Stephen Paul Murray heading up the kitchen, bringing his years of experience working as sous at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega in Napa Valley.
As we were being seated for our reservation, the ‘black oven’ caught my eye, seemingly beckoning me with blinks of orange and flame, standing stark against the bright, white subway tile that lined the back wall of the restaurant leading into the kitchen and bar area.
The menu consists of wood-fired pizzas, wine-friendly small plates & classic cocktails, with a decent wine list consisting of California varietals.
The menu is bright and charming, with lots of Italian inspiration and classic combinations with a slight twist (the sauteed Tuscan kale was a nice surprise with garlic, crisp shallots and a bit of heat from the chile).
Everyone was extremely accommodating and hospitable, with Carlos (Maitre D’) attending to our every need and making solid cocktail recommendations to pair with our food. The cocktail staff was on point with their creations, with the Fig & Thyme taking top marks for it’s complexity and deliciousness.
With it’s charming layout, relaxed yet alive atmosphere, the Local Kitchen and Wine Bar is a great addition to the Santa Monica scene for those looking for a simple, yet delightful menu option that will have you coming back for more.
Goat cheese cannoli with crisp bacon
Burrata, roasted beets, winter citrus, sorrel, crisp sunchoke
Orecchiette, tomato-fennel brodo, prawns, bay scallops, calamari, herbs
House sausage, tomato, mozzarella, marinated onion, arugula
Chicken under brick, balsamic-chile glaze, charred onion, chile, jus
Fig & Thyme, boyd and blair vodka, earl grey, citrus, egg white
Rosemary bourbon sour, bourbon, lemon, rosemary
Local Kitchen & Wine Bar
1736 Ocean Park Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405