You can tell when two people love what they do and do what they love – and when the subject is food and the duo is husband and wife team Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan – it makes sense that they would name their third restaurant after their offspring and keep it in the family.
Without translation, Milo and Olive could really just mean “welcome home.” The interior of the one room “studio kitchen” is walled by exposed brick and lofted beams. For communal dining there are two large, square tables that are reminisce of family-style breakfast, and a long counter perched alongside the open kitchen (ladies, note that there are purse hooks are located underneath) for a more solitaire bar-like moment.
Like you’d expect from your mom and dad, Zoe opens Milo and Olive for breakfast at 7 a.m. sharp and doesn’t shut down until bedtime. The morning menu is supported by a main cast of everything related to bread (croissants, bagels, sticky buns, and strudel to call out a few) as well as a few items from the egg family (quiche, baked eggs) and a tag-along assortment of sandwiches (some with cured meats and cheese, others with tapenade and arugula) should you arrive closer to lunch. Also available is the fun option to pick any of Zoe’s breads and have a few slices as toast, and if you just want to stop in for a morning coffee and pastry there is an espresso bar that serves Verve coffee, tea, and other beverages (like a honey soy latte).
Lunch and dinner share the same menu. Small plates of honest, fresh, and deliciously combined fare promise to leave you smiling and full. Items like white bean soup (Coleman Farms cannellini beans, winter vegetables, parmigiano reggiano), roasted pumpkin (brown butter, sage, buckwheat honey, black pepper), sausage and grits, branzino ceviche, and a legion of savory pizzas (pork belly sausage, mixed mushroom, crispy pepperoni) that could beat Mozza’s in battle are all great pieces to puzzle together for solo courses or split-plate dining.
Need to Know: Open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (no reservations) but take out is available
Tastes Like: Tavern dating Mozza
Feels Like: Jack n’ Jill’s collides with Animal
It’s not Huckleberry or Rustic Canyon: Because M&O is the only one with a pizza oven
Hidden Gems: Salted Chocolate Crostini, Wood Fired Garlic Knot
Never Say No: Add a fried egg to your pizza
Biggest Background Botch: A song once came on mid-service that spit out a string of ten expletives before anyone could change the station
Slightly Italian and very much local Santa Monica, at Milo and Olive you will be greeted like you’re a neighbor, cared for like it’s your birthday, and nourished like you’re family. Everything I ordered I would again, and everything I did not get I will when I return.
Milo and Olive
2723 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica