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Michael's Restaurant Serves Up Classic Cuisine With an Edgy Twist in Santa Monica


Dungeness crab chawanmushi with uniDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameDungeness crab chawanmushi with uniDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameDungeness crab chawanmushi with uniDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameromano beans and ubriaco rossoDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameChef Miles ThompsonDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameOctopus with grapefruitDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameOctopus with grapefruitDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesamesumac yogurt and pickled wasabi leafDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameDuck breast with huckleberry-juniper pickleDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameDuck breast with huckleberry-juniper pickleDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesamechow chow and pickled black mustardDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesameDenver steak with porcini BordelaiseDungeness crab chawanmushi with uni, ginger sprout and Japanese sesame

Michael's, of course, is the 37-year-old restaurant that helped to put L.A.'s version of “California Cuisine” on the map. When it opened in 1979, owner Michael McCarty, and the band of young chefs who careened through the kitchen, were the culinary brat pack of the day. They were some of the first American chefs and restaurateurs who thought of themselves as rock stars and hoped the public thought that, too. McCarty was only 24 at the time, and everything about the place was seen as revolutionary — the food, the bright decor, the music, the brazen fun of it all. Michael's made or progressed the careers of legendary chefs including Jonathan Waxman, Nancy Silverton, Brooke Williamson and many more. The format has changed countless times, and half the trends in American cookery either began here or passed through the kitchen at one point or another. McCarty recently hired Miles Thompson, formerly of Allumette, as chef, and the times, they are a-changin'. Read the L.A. Weekly review here