Five great restaurants in Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier. Photo / Getty Images
Santa Monica Pier. Photo / Getty Images

1 Ashland Hill

Casual yet trendy order-at-the counter eatery in Santa Monica's historic Ocean Park neighbourhood, where you can eat at the bar or out on the garden patio while enjoying local tap beers and craft wines. Heavy emphasis on seasonal, sustainable menu inspired by local farmers, fisherman and artisan producers.

2 Herringbone

This is Surf and Turf US-style, or "Fish meets Field", with the menu featuring fun twists on classic dishes: think the likes of shrimp and grits or braised short ribs. Herringbone also has a raw bar with oysters, lobster and king crab, and live music.

3 Estate

Asian fusion is the theme at Estate, with Japanese ramen and pad thai on the menu, though you can also order burgers and calamari. You'll find white brick walls and plush leather booths and an all-Californian craft beer list. Signature cocktail Estate of Mind will blow yours: gin, squid ink, dry vermouth and grenadine.

4 Belcampo Meat Co.

This is the place for meat-lovers, with a full-service organic butcher shop at the front so you can take home a souvenir. Notable dishes are the cheeseburgers, lamb chops and braised short rib sandwiches, and the sherry cocktails are said to be one of the best in town.

5 Esters

Predominantly a wine shop with around 250 variations on its list, Esters also offers a seasonal menu of charcuterie boards, sharing plates and house-made sandwiches. Located in a 1937 art deco building, with a comfy patio area.

- NZ Herald

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