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A glass of red wine works well with the food here, note the notes at dinner and the cell phone with an important website.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Sonoma Wine Garden

395 Santa Monica Place Santa Monica, CA 90401
Mon.-Thu. = 11:30am-10pm, Fri. = 11:30am-11pm, Sat. = 11am-11pm & Sun. = 11am-10pm
424-214-4560 2 hours
January 2014 All year
$50-99 Santa Monica California
Website Food/Drinks General Restaurants
First review
Sonoma Wine Garden is a moderately upscale and decidedly hip restaurant and bar located on the top floor/roof of Santa Monica Place, which is an upscale shopping center in downtown Santa Monica. The menu is a bit eclectic but is generally American and somewhat Italian. Dishes include cheese plates, salads, pizzas, and pasta. There are also some chicken, lamb and seafood entrees. Vegan and gluten free options are available too. In addition to lunch and dinner, there is a brunch service on weekends. Sonoma has a wine tasting club with wine classes and discounted prices on high-end wines.

The restaurant is owned by Ozumo Concepts, which also operates some Japanese restaurants in the San Francisco area. Sonoma scores high on curb appeal. A large terrace with a fire pit is popular for dining. There also is a cool bar area and quieter but still stylish interior dining room. Propane heaters make outdoor dining an option year round. It’s generally easy to get a table during the week, but Sonoma can get busy on weekends for dinner and brunch. Reservations are a good idea at these times. Brunch includes a $35 bottomless champagne service for 2 hours or you can order à la carte.

Eating here on a winter evening on a Sunday night worked well as there was no wait for a table and the temperature was favorable for outdoor dining. There were a number of locals drinking wine, chatting, and lounging around couches near the bar. Although Sonoma does not really have an ocean view, if you crane your neck you might be able to see the top of the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. The server recommended a glass of California red wine which was an excellent choice. Dinner included tomato soup, garlic bread and vegetarian cannelloni. Of the three, the garlic bread was best. It was cooked perfectly, with just the right amount of crispness. Also, the dish included some delicious buttery dipping sauce. The soup was appetizing, but was a bit too light and not sufficiently creamy. The cannelloni was better though. It had a good mix of cheese, spinach and pasta and was light and satisfying. Crushed red pepper made it taste even better. A handful of desserts, which are made in-house, looked quite tempting but were skipped due to calorie concerns. The pizzas also looked appetizing; garden style pizza is popular. With a comfortable atmosphere, topnotch service and quality food, Sonoma was a winner all the way around and is recommended.
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8/18/2014 8:47:11 PM
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Went back in August and tried some of the bread pudding dessert, it was rich and sweet, not quite as good as the other dishes from the prior visit, but if you like a very sweet dessert with ice-cream it can work.