I had driven past this beautiful hotel on the main drag in Santa Monica many a time, including twice at the end of last month, and always wondered what it would be like to sit out on their lovely veranda, and watch the sunset.

View from Veranda. Photo by Karen Salkin.

And then, all of a sudden, I got invited to a dinner there! I hadn’t even realized that the attractive outside patio area was actually a restaurant, called appropriately enough, Veranda! What fun!

It was really delightful sitting out there, watching passers-by living the beachy life, and seeing the beautiful sky as the sun set. (And even in the dark blue light of night, too!) It was all so relaxing. (By the way, you can also eat inside, which would be cozy on a really chilly night. But I recommend the outside, with the handy heaters, if needed.)

Veranda has a regular menu, (which I hope to review for you down the line,) but this dinner party was to celebrate the Georgian Hotel’s 80th anniversary. To that end, they just launched a new Retro Dining Menu and Prohibition Era Cocktail Menu.

You know I’m not an alcohol expert, (or even drink the stuff at all,) but everyone else at the table was enjoying the old school cocktails, such as Negroni and Paloma.

Mr. X (I know—I was shocked, too, that he agreed to come with me!,) and I agreed on our two favorite dishes, another rarity. Though it’s listed as an appetizer, there was nothing mini about the mini monte cristo sandwiches! They were fluffy and full-sized and absolutely scrumptious! I enjoyed them even without the accompanying raspberry sauce, but it definitely enhanced the bold taste. I swear—we couldn’t stop eating them!!!

Floating Island. Photo by Karen Salkin.

They were the pièces de résistance, for sure, but almost equal to the monte cristos were the pork medallions with lemon caper sauce. I intensely dislike lemon and capers, and Mr. X feels the same about pork, yet we both loved this dish, which was served with creamed peas, pearl onions, and roasted red potatoes. That presentation is truly old school!

We tried some other menu items, as well, but kept coming back to these two. (Our hosts had it all served family style, so several dishes were on the table at the same time; that’s how we were able to go back to our faves at all times.)

The gorgeous exterior of the Georgian Hotel. Photo by Karen Salkin.

I didn’t eat the retro dessert, but Mr. X was thrilled with the classic Floating Island. He had never heard of it before! In case you haven’t, either, it’s baked meringues surrounded by vanilla crème anglaise, and this one was topped with blackberry drizzle and fresh berries. The whole assemblage seemed to love it!

During the evening, we looked around the hotel a bit, because, despite it’s octogenarian status, it was new to us. The history is amazing, with many famous people as guests, (check-out their site, listed below, for all the entertaining deets,) and a prohibition-era speakeasy that’s still in use for private functions. (Do I sense a new venue for my annual beginning-of-year foodie fest???)

Dining at Veranda is a fun, peaceful, and delicious way to spend a summer’s eve. I’m glad we got to experience it; I hope you do, as well.

1415 Ocean Avenue Santa Monica  800-538-8147  www.georgianhotel.com/the-veranda-restaurant


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