Santa Monica's newest eatery, Estate Restaurant + Bar, is located right along Wilshire Blvd, close enough to the ocean to still smell the salty air, but far enough from the Third Street Promenade that it won't attract all of the tourists (that's a good thing!).
Walking into this expansive establishment, the interior decoration is immediately eye catching. Exposed incandescent lightbulbs give the restaurant an industrial, steam-punky vibe, wood back splashes add a little warmth, and shelves of modern trinkets and potted succulents beautifully decorate the walls. Arriving in the early evening when the sun is still out, the tables are splashed in a warm, gauzy natural light. As night falls, the vibe completely changes and suddenly Estate is a sexy, low lit version of it's daytime counterpart.
Although not an entirely plant-based menu, Chef Hisashi Yoshiara was more than happy to accommodate my dietary restrictions. Our server was able to quickly point out which appetizers, entrees, and sides could be made without meat and dairy, which I really appreciated. The waitstaff is incredibly attentive and informed about the menu. In true Santa Monica style, the entire menu is locally sourced, so everything tastes incredibly fresh. The SoCal grown ingredients come together to create perfectly crafted dishes from around the world.
We started our meal out with the Farmer's Market selection of vegetables hand chosen by the chef. My sister and I both agreed that the crispy Brussels sprouts, tender sweet potatoes, toasted almonds, and maple vinaigrette were so mouthwateringly delicious that we wanted to order a second serving of it. We decided against that as we saw our server walking across the dining room with our flatbread in hand.
Served on a wooden plank, the flatbread is decorated with peewee potatoes, juicy tomatoes, hot jalapenos, flavorful bell pepper, and a specially made dairy-free pesto. The flatbread typically comes with cheese, but we were able to order it without any dairy. The flatbread is crispy on the bottom, but soft on top, giving it a nice crunch when you bite into it. The vegetables and pesto were so fresh and colorful, it was just as delicious looking at it as it was eating it!
As an entree, I tried the Pad Thai noodles, sans egg, meat, and shrimp. As a lover of Thai food, I'm always curious to taste any Thai-inspired dishes. Estate's Asian-influenced rice noodles did not disappoint! Served with fresh lime and crushed peanuts, tender rice noodles wrapped around seasoned tofu cubes and bell peppers, coming together in the most amazing dish. The savory noodles and tang of the lime worked in perfect harmony. Even though I was so full, I finished my entire plate because it was just that good.
Estate's full bar can make any type of cocktail your heart desires, but they offer a list of recommended concoctions, as well. I started out with their take on a Daiquiri. Rum, lime juice, and super fine sugar are shaken into a beautiful beverage that was sweet without being overbearing. They call it Hemmingway Daiquiri--the literary reference is clever! I thoroughly enjoyed this drink and will be sure to order it again. As I finished off my super-tasty Daiquiri, our server recommended another rum libation with passion fruit called Blackbeard's Delight. I've never had a cocktail like this before, and was pleasantly surprised by the unique mix of ingredients. While I preferred the Daiquiri over the Blackbeard's Delight, both were tasty, inventive, and perfectly complemented our meals.
No dinner is complete without dessert, so with aching bellies we said yes to their vegan sorbet. The mango and raspberry scoops were topped with fresh berries and kiwi, and then decorated with a crisp wafer. It was beautifully plated and very yummy. If you have room for a little something sweet after your meal, definitely give the sorbets a try!
Overall, I was incredibly impressed by my dining experience at Estate Restaurant + Bar. Everything from the interior aesthetics to the menu was carefully thought out and perfectly executed. The freshness of the local ingredients is obvious, and the globally inspired menu features a plate for everyone. The next time you want to impress your date or just have a nice dinner with family and friends, take them to Estate! You won't be disappointed.
1519 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA