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By Albert Hayashi

Your friends will be green with envy as you dine at the new Abode Restaurant and Lounge in Santa Monica.  Paradoxically located off Ocean Ave. across from the busy Santa Monica Pier Boardwalk, Abode is quietly nestled between Ivey at the Shore and Tengu. 

As I entered the restaurant off the terra cotta-tiled courtyard, Abode (Designed by Franklin Studios) seemed to present multiple dining areas while still capturing the overall sustainable warm theme. I arrived early for dinner and began the evening in the Lounge area with the “Elderflower Green Tea Martini”, one of the restaurants many signature drinks.  The drink is made with organic green tea infused vodka with elderflower liqueur garnished with edible flowers.  Surveying the main dining space from the Lounge/Bar area, I was immediately drawn to how the floor to ceiling geometric wood screens divided the restaurant into three eating areas highlighted by three semi-private crescent-shaped chocolate toned leather booths softly elevated to the left with the large patio area to the right.  If you are looking for a high tech polished silver and glass wireless new money and new Hollywood feel, Abode is not the place.  The high-back burnt tangerine leather chairs and thick black walnut tables accented by the distressed wood planks and rainforest brown and white Calcutta marble creates a comfortable cozy ambiance for diners.

The contemporary American cuisine at Abode reflects the French born Executive Chef Dominique Crenn’s culinary chef experiences in California and Indonesia. Working under the tutelage of Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz while at Stars and more recently at the Manhattan Country Club, her menu captures the essence of the restaurant’s humble beginnings as the vegetarian Anastasia’s Asylum.  Her 20 years of experience preparing and developing dishes and menus for over a dozen of restaurants in two continents has provided Dominique the knowledge of food synchronicity.  I decided to indulge myself with the eight-course prix-fixe tasting menu which featured off-the-menu dishes paired with various wines.  There is also a three-course prix fixe business lunch and a six course tasting menu.

I started my evening with the Oyster Bloody Mary Shot with Horseradish Foam followed by the Chilled Sweet White Corn Chowder with Mussels, Purple Potato and Pernod Foam.  The Hawaiian Kona Kompachi Tartar served with a Taro Chip and topped with Shiso Ice Cream accompanied by Masami Farm All Natural Japanese Wagyu Beef Tartar topped with a Quail Egg was as tasty as anything made by Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi or Sam Choi.  After the Seared Scallop served with Spiced Tomato Chutney, Apple Purée, Vadouvan Foam and Caramelized Onion, the heavier more filling taste menu entrees arrived. The Woodland Farms Duck Breast served with slices of grilled Fitzgerald Farm Peach, Mushroom and Bacon and the Niman Ranch Lamb served with Greek Yogurt, Peaches and Cherry Tomato was pleasantly light enough to allow space in my appetite for dessert.  The Study of Chocolate dessert forced me to eat the White Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle inside the Chocolate “Egg” very slowly as to not “crack” the chocolate egg.

The fact that restaurant used wood harvested from a sustainable forest or used more natural lighting via the large glass paned doors leading to the outdoor patio and eating area or even the fact that Abode donates all proceeds to the Heal the Bay Foundation when you order the $300 Tahitian Black Pearl Martini was secondary to the rich dining experience.  Typically, restaurants on a Tuesday evening are not very busy.  But over the next few hours after arriving, every seat became occupied with couples, small celebratory groups, business executives and even some families.  Not only does Abode challenge the myth of being able to develop a tasty organic-based menu, but I was able to walk away feeling good about doing my part for our future generations.

Fact Sheet

1541 Ocean Ave.

Santa Monica , CA 90401

Phone: (310) 394-3463

Prices: ($12 -$35)/entrée


Dinner: Tue-Sat, 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm (until 11:00 pm on Fri & Sat)

Brunch: Sun, 11:30 am to 3:30 pm

Seven 'til Seven: Mon-Fri, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm


Reservations suggested

Valet Parking


Website: www.aboderestaurant.com





























































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