I couldn’t say no when my friend Nicole suggested a two-stop Santa Monica dinner crawl back in February. First up was Crudo e Nudo (which recently opened a second location in New York City) where we snagged a table for two on the sidewalk parklet and nibbled on sustainable seafood while sipping biodynamic wine.
We fully leaned into the restaurant’s chill vibes and ordered the “crudo trio” ($60), which let chef Brian Bornemann choose what’s served. All we had to do was sit back, relax, and eat what landed on the table.
First up was some halibut served super simply and delicately with white sesame, green onion, and shiro shoyu ($24).
Second up was another straightforward preparation — striped bass with za’atar and Picual olive oil ($20).
Third up was the best crudo of all: spiny lobster with fennel, saffron, citrus, and toast ($44). Spiny lobster season only comes around once a year and chef Bornemann knows exactly how to make ’em shine by leaving their flesh completely raw and incorporating the saffron-rich flavors of bouillabaisse.
Last up was an uni “taco” bite ($9) with masago, serrano, toasted nori, and smoked oil.
Next we drove to Cobi’s and settled into its wonderfully wallpapered and candlelit dining room for the second part of dinner.
We weren’t the least bit crudo’d out so we started with the kanpachi ($16) with finger lime, green chile, and coconut dressing.
Also on the table was a green papaya salad with cherry tomatoes, peanuts, green beans, and a fish sauce vinaigrette.
Lastly we shared the devil chicken curry ($18) with mustard seeds and a habanero chile vinegar.
Crudo e Nudo
2724 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
2104 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
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