312 Wilshire Bl
Santa Monica, Ca 90401
310 393 2288

The Scene: New York style steak house
Cuisine: Steak & lobster
Must Try: Lobster Club and Bloody Mary
Star Rating: 2.75
Best Dish: Any steak

Sometimes there are restaurants that you just want to love and Scarboni is one of those places. From the moment co-owner Tommy Saboni (formerly the General Manager of the Palm in West Hollywood) welcomes you, you feel like you have arrived at an Italian friend’s home. Scarboni is new to the game, and not perfect yet, so this warm treatment caused us to be more forgiving of growing pains. That being said, almost everything we tasted was delicious and there was plenty of it.

Scarboni’s is located right off the ho-hum of the Third Street Promenade and is an unexpected treat for the area. If you are desirous of being in New York while at the beach, Scarboni’s is the place and when inside you feel like you’re in Manhattan, but without the foul weather, grey sleet and crowded streets.

Tommy is trying to draw in new business so he’s offering an Executive VIP Lunch Club which gives you a 30 percent discount on all food items. Speaking of, we savored the Lobster Club Sandwich, literally loaded with fresh lobster and served on a flawlessly toasted brioche, a bargain at $16 (less 30%, if you’re in the club). Michael’s dad lives in Maine so he knows about Lobster, and Scarboni’s saves you the 5 hour flight (and security check). We would suggest, however, avoiding the Chicken Marsala at $18 because it did not have enough chicken and was weak on the Marsala preparation. If you want to play it safe, you can’t go wrong with the Scarboni burger, expertly prepared with tasty and quality meat (and the Dining Duo knows about quality meat), and loaded with delicious fries at $12.

We particularly enjoyed dinner, as there was a lively and nice crowd, back dropped by that comfy atmosphere. We tried various Steaks (well, Michael did) and sampled the lobster (well, Scott did) and all proved to be quality. It was like going to the Palm, without the wait, or the attitude. Michael particularly enjoyed the rib eye which arrived exactly as he had ordered it ($40) and we highly recommend the blackened Salmon (even though it was not wild….tsk, tsk) which was scrumptious, a terrific blend of spice and very fresh fish. We advise you accompany any dish with Brussel Sprouts Scarboni, (Scott said “yuck” at the concept, but he took it back when he tasted it), they are a specialty and certainly worth trying. Dipped in batter and smothered in garlic (hey, isn’t that the same as escargot?), it was yum; be brave and get it.

A friend enjoyed the Steak Fromage (that means “cheese” in French, as opposed to “Frottage”, which has an entirely different take) at $46, and said it is smothered with Roquefort, creating a delicious blend of flavors. If you’re hungry, the Veal Parmesan at $26 has always been Michael’s favorite dish at the Palm, Tommy’s old haunt; poor little lamb (or does veal come from a duck? Who knows, but Michael said it’s fabulous).

Be sure and save room for dessert because the classic New York Cheese Cake and the Chocolate Mouse cake are worth each and every calorie. Scarboni’s has just opened for Sunday lunch and we’re looking forward to trying out their fare, which includes the Roast Beef Hash and Eggs and one of the best Bloody Mary’s in LA.

Okay, so it’s a schlep to the beach, but aren’t good food, good service and Italian muscle worth it?

Posted by The Dining Duo | 1:06 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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