Monday, May 9, 2016

Where to Eat: The $90 Mother’s Day Dinner @ One Pico, Shutters on the Beach

The Eats: A Prix fixe, three-course meal

The Location: Santa Monica

The Vibes: Upscale casual, beachside, airy

Good for: Alone, dates, groups, families

When-To-Go: Mother’s Day, May 6, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The $ Factor: $90 per person, beverages not included

The 4-1-1: One Pico is a restaurant located within the hotel, Shutters on the Beach

Parking Situation: Valet parking and also nearby metered parking

I’ll Be Back…: For a cocktail at their bar!

I’m not going to lie; when I first heard about One Pico’s Mother’s Day dinner at $90 per person, my mouth literally fell to the floor. No, my initial thoughts weren’t that my mother wasn’t worth it — because she absolutely is!!! — it was more like what in the world could honestly be worth $90?! In one meal, and three courses?!

But because my mother has a thing for beaches and my grandmother has a penchant for white table linen cloths, we booked reservations and planned for a relaxing evening here.

As background, One Pico sits on prime real estate property in Santa Monica, slightly south of the Santa Monica Pier. It has wall-to-wall windows that offer a view of the Pacific Ocean that would take mostly anyone’s breath away. A seat at one of One Pico’s coveted window-side table is the optimal place to be to catch a stunning sunset. 

With a focus on a “seasonal market menu,” here’s a look at what One Pico offered, specifically for Mother’s Day:

First Course – APPETIZERS
Baby Artichoke, Poached Farm Egg, Alaskan Salmon Crudo or The Lobster Crab Cake

I was slightly surprised that there were no vegetarian/vegan options for the First Course; even the baby artichoke included anchovies. Nonetheless, the three that we did try — the Baby Artichoke, Alaskan Salmon Crudo and The Lobster Crab Cake — were excellent. Each used typical ingredients, in unusual ways, for example, pairing salmon with cucumber and baby orange slices. My favorite of the night was the Lobster Crab Cake, pictured below. There were just so many thick chunks of both lobster and crab, perfectly mashed together!

Second Course – ENTREES
Jidori Farm Chicken, Black Cod, Hand Made Fettuccini, Grilled N.Y. Steak or Maine Diver Scallops

I was extremely pleased with my selection, the Jidori Farm Chicken, pictured below. Underneath delightfully crispy chicken skin was ricotta cheese, and spinach tossed with raisins and chardonnay accompanied the half chicken. My mother wasn’t too thrilled with her N.Y. Steak, but did mention it could have been because she prefers a ribeye cut. I sneaked in more than several bites of my grandmother’s Hand Made Fettuccini. The pasta, which also included roasted garlic, Maitake mushrooms and heirloom cherry tomatoes, was so rich and literally melted in my mouth.

Third Course – DESSERTS
Deconstructed Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Almond Coffee or Raspberries Tart

Dessert took a turn from the traditional, with options like the Deconstructed Red Velvet Cake — fluffy pieces of cake paired with beets and candied pecans. The Chocolate Almond Coffee cup was a chocolate lover’s dream come true, with rich, buttery chocolate ganache and almond coffee sponge cake. My favorite selection was the Raspberries tart, pictured below. It included a tart filled with coconut cream, topped with raspberries. And the best part, the pink champagne sorbet accompanying it. 

All in all, we had a marvelous time and the food was hands down, pretty remarkable, inventive and fresh. Combine that with marvelous cocktails, attentive service and tranquil ambiance, and One Pico gets a thumbs up from me. I'll definitely return for a cocktail and a chance to check out a sunset.

How about you — how did you spend your Mother’s Day? 

Leave your responses in the comment box below!

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