Simply, this is the best sea, farm, land-to-table Italian restaurant in Santa Monica. Sit at the bar or pray for reservations. I simply go on unpopular days of the week like Tuesday or Wednesday – but not on Sunday or Monday because Capo is closed. No negotiations (I’ve tried).
Petite in stature and presence, set on the corner of Ocean and Pico, Capo has windows but you won’t be able to see in.
Valet offers a “curtain entrance,” which means (I’m guessing) that someone holds up a sheet or cloak or something dark and spectacular and shields you from prying eyes as you exit your car and duck inside.
Basically, Capo is not messing around. I love the bar or one of the coveted wall tables, preferably in the corner so I can spectate the entire expanse of the dining room.
Once I sit, I immediately ask for the wine book which is delivered in a floppy leather book. Don’t think too hard – the options are extensive and range from white, red and pink to obscure and local, half your rent, or half a hundred.
Capo fare can be described as modern Italian style cuisine. Homemade pastas, fresh seafood, and fireplace-grilled meats are some of the chef’s favorites.
Now, there are things you must get if you can avoid the bread basket (and dish of hummus), as well as the plate of assorted mini cookies, tarts, and chocolates that you get with your check (take them to-go).
1. Duck Slider. Miss foie gras? Get this. Mention you miss foie gras. You will be thrilled.
2. BBQ Romaine Caesar Salad: The best I’ve ever had. Yes. The BEST. Served with leaves in tact, eat it with your fingers.
3. Braised Short Ribs
4. Polenta (both the baked and regular)
5. Burrata Caprese
6. Truffle Bolognese
7. Crisp of the day (a la mode)
If you go, ask for Justin. Make sure to play nice, since you’ll be back as often as your wallet can afford.
1810 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
Tuesday through Thursday: 6-10 pm
Friday, Saturday: 6-11pm