• Restaurant Recommendation: Fia Opens its Doors in Santa Monica

    FROM THE Fall 2019 ISSUE

    An acclaimed chef is cooking at a new indoor-outdoor spot.

Cheers to a new contender for the prettiest restaurant patio in Santa Monica: Fia. The 300-seat indoor-outdoor space features a multilevel patio, lush with ferns, native palms and flowers, vintage tables and chairs, and restored French doors. An outdoor bocce ball court tells you this a social destination not just a place to grab and go. The menu is inspired by Italy’s Amalfi Coast with “refined rustic dishes” from Chef Brendan Collins (formerly of acclaimed LA restaurants that include Birch, Waterloo & City and Melisse). There’s a fresh daily selection of raw bar and crudo items, hand-cut pastas like capellini with lobster Bolognese, seasonal local vegetables and grilled seafood and meat, including a seven-day beef shank served with pomegranate molasses. There are several options for private dining, both indoor and out, for up to 25 guests.

I’m not used to encountering my fellow writers in the kitchen, but there we all were peeling onions, chopping leeks, zesting limes and pitting dates. The occasion was a Cozymeal cooking class, held in a Hollywood loft, to get the word out about Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week. The 10-day culinary event kicks off on Friday, May 31, and runs through Sunday, June 9.


To the annals of great bakery hybrids like the cronut, duffin and cretzel, add the churro croissant from Los Angeles bakery Pitchoun! A flaky pastry dusted with cinnamon sugar and filled with vanilla custard cream it combines French sophistication with the childlike joys of theme park eats. Originally put on the menu for the month of November, the churro croissant has been extended through January and, perhaps, beyond.