Santa Monica Place is the new mall at the start of the 3rd Street Promenade. Panda Express used to be the anchor of the old mall’s food court. On the 3rd floor a new high end “dining deck” and “market” just opened and it’s a nice place for tourists and well-heeled locals alike.
Focusing on artisanal and organic gourmet food, drinks and gifts it embodies the current trends in cuisine and shopping. The opening night party attracted attractive westsiders who sampled goods from the many purveyors.
The highlight was Norcino Sulumeria and Cheese Bar.
Who can resist an overflowing stock of meat and cheese.
They were slicing fresh mortadella, prosciutto, salami and more.
They were even hand-pulling fresh burrata.
Norcino is the perfect place to come for a sampling on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Another Italian option is Primi al Mercato. Serving as both a retail outlet and causal trattoria, Primi dished up piping hot al dente pasta.
Rockenwagner is a beachside staple. They have a bakery at The Market, serving pretzel baguettes amongst a variety of other items.
They even adorned a mannequin in pretzels, because salt is the new black.
Venokado wine shop has armies of bottles standing at the ready.
Their tasting room and gifts make this a good pre-dinner stop.
Magical Blooms is the sole flower shop in The Market.
The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories will host three and four hour cookie classes, demos, signings and special events. The culinary stylings of Kleiman and Gold took their Good Food banter on the road for a special demo in front of a packed house.
The Curious Palate seemed very busy cooking but I didn’t see any food so I didn’t try anything. Here is a sample of their menu.
Overall The Market at SMP could use a catchier name like Eataly. However, it does serve as a nice place to spend an afternoon or evening. It’s certainly a step up from Sbarro and Hot Dog on a Stick.