For first-time diners at Hotel Shangri-la’s restaurant The Dining Room, expect plenty of fresh seafood and meat sourced from local butchers for its dishes that exude California flair thanks to executive chef Kareem Shaw who took helm of the kitchen last August.
This hidden Santa Monica gem that’s open daily to locals as well as hotel guests is located at the corner of Ocean and Arizona, on the ground floor of this timeless luxury boutique property with stunning views of the Pacific and Santa Monica Pier.
Shaw highlights fresh seasonal ingredients sourced from the twice a week farmers market next to the hotel on Arizona Ave.
The menus can be described as the very best of local California cuisine with international flavor and flair catering to its wide range of guests.
With access to the farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, expect plenty of fresh, vibrant flavors on each dish.
Shaw said he loved being able to have the creative freedom to create good food from scratch.
“The greatest pleasure in the world is to come up with a dish from scratch and execute it and then serve it to people and have them enjoy it,” Shaw said. “Food is edible art. To be an edible artist, it’s amazing because people keep that experience with them so long. I love when repeat guests have a dish again and they reminisce on the first time they had it – I love it when they remember what they were feeling, what they were wearing, and what conversation they were having the first time around. I want to create memories one dish at a time.”
As for what he loves most at Shangri-la, apart from the Ocean views, is the ability to present his own style and flavors not only in the hotel’s main restaurant, The Dining Room, but also at its rooftop bar called Suite 700 and the hotel’s pool deck.
“I eradicated the old menu completely,” he said. “It took about a month to put this menu together. It’s kind of a French fusion: there are French flavors, there are Californian flavors, and there are Italian flavors. It’s a snapshot of dishes that you’re going to find in Santa Monica where there are different styles of food. Here it all comes together on one menu. I feel we do the art of good food.”
Despite the luxury setting its prices are reasonable.
At lunch, salads start at $9, sandwiches at $13, and entrees at $17. At dinner, appetizers range from $12 (Butter Nut Squash Ravioli) to $19 (Shrimp Cocktail) while entrees start at $16 for Risotto to high-quality meat dishes like New York Steak ($36), Rib Eye ($36), Kurobuta Pork Chop ($36), Filet Mignon ($39), and Colorado Lamb (market price).
The Dining Room is open to both hotel guests and locals Sunday through Wednesday from 7 am to 10 pm and Thursday through Saturday from 7 am to 11 pm.
For reservations, call 310.451.0717 or visit www.shangrila-hotel.com/Dining-Nightlife.
Hotel Shangri-la is located at 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. For more information on the hotel, visit www.shangrila-hotel.com.