To fully understand Michael’s, one must first know a few stories. The story of Michael McCarty, its pioneering owner, who participated in the birth of “California cuisine” decades before Los Angeles became a food city. The story of Michael’s chefs, now iconic figures, such as Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman, Mark Peel, Sang Yoon… And finally the story of Miles Thompson, the 28-year-old gifted chef who made Allumette famous after cooking at Animal, Son of a Gun and Nobu. At Michael’s, he created a menu inspired by the next-door Santa Monica Farmers Market with a few Asian twists. You can either choose from the small plates, or rely on Mile’s mood like an omakase: Sichuan dumplings (our personal favorite), beef tartare with jicama, rose geranium duck confit, black cod with lemongrass rice… Choose a table in the patio of this ‘ancient’ restaurant (Michael’s was created 38 years ago, a record for LA), then savor the marriage of young creativity and renowned tradition.

Address: 1147 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 5:30-10:30PM

Menu: michaelssantamonica.com

Reservations: (310) 451-0843 or OpenTable

Style: Californian

Price: Small plates $9-18, Entrées $26-40

Neighborhood: Santa Monica

Best for: Dinner