Mare Santa Monica

Went with another couple, so sharing was possible, photos not, too much chatter from us. Overall, a better than expected experience, but not worth a drive. We walked. Star dishes were crispy octopus, which had, to quote wife, a perfect texture and Gnocchi, which were again, a perfect texture, pillowy soft and of the larger variety. Also had rapini with garlic, good, fresh crispy but not raw and nicely garlicky. Moorish chicken with chickpea pancakes and warm kale and date salad was served as a large plate, with chicken breast cut into smallish pieces and not dry; very good, not stellar. Then we shared two of their self described signature dishes, the mix and match of shellfish and broth. We had the shrimp with romesco broth and the mussels with white wine and leek broth. Good enough to eat, but shrimp were over cooked. Bread and free starting warm pickled peppers were excellent. Service is a work in progress. I almost had my face stabbed by a waiter gesticulating with a pen who deeply invaded my personal space. Had to forearm parry his thrust and request calm for safety sake. Three people asked if we wanted free or expensive water and no one delivered it. Drinks took twenty minutes to arrive. Will go back, since it’s walking distance. It took the old JiRaffe space at 5th and SMB.

Had no idea a new branch had opened. Thanks for the report. I haven’t had a chance to go to the original location, but this one is FAR closer. Prices look to be $1-2, but it might be worht it for the convenience alone.

Have you been to the original location?

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@paranoidgarliclover, I have not been to original location. Greenspan is also partners in Erven, the new plant based place up the block. My wife was having lunch there, and Greenspan was cooking. Erven apparently has a new baby and was late to work. Very friendly and open and hospitable, despite my comments on the service.

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