When it comes to eating out on date night, the last thing on your mind may be where your food is sourced. As you gaze at your companion starry-eyed in an intimate cafe, we’re pretty sure you’re not thinking about pesticides and pastures.
Luckily, the folks at Local Kitchen + Wine Bar are. This buzzy Ocean Park newcomer with a chic, upscale-casual vibe has date night written all over it. As the restaurant’s name implies, Local’s Italian-accented New American menu is driven by produce sourced from mostly organic farms almost exclusively on the West Coast. It’s the second restaurant from chef-owner Maire Byrne, whose more casual Thyme Cafe and Market is just up the block.
If you want to get really cozy with your mate, consider a seat at the bar in front of the wood-burning pizza oven, which keeps things toasty. Pizza offerings change with the seasons, but you’re bound to find veggie-laden pies like the verde ($14), an indulgent vehicle for broccoli rabe with burrata, garlic and basil.
Beyond pizza, you might start with grilled persimmon and prosciutto ($5), move onto a salad of Kenter Canyon Farms lettuces topped with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds ($11) and dig into a plate of Swiss chard malfatti with heirloom squash fonduta and roasted pear ($16).
Meats are also sourced with care. Succulent lamb meatballs ($14), served on a bed of crispy wood-fired cauliflower, are made with pastured Colorado lamb. The smoked, bone-in Duroc pork chop ($24), served with apple mostarda and chestnuts, is organic, as is the chicken under a brick ($22) glazed with chile and balsamic.
It’s a truly delicious place to nurture a healthy relationship.
Local Kitchen + Wine Bar
1736 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica