Cadet Restaurant — the creation of Jeff Weinstein, The Counter and Kris Tominaga, The Hart + Hunter — opened just over a month ago on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica. The missed matched dining chairs along with large wooden bar give this place a true rustic feel along with the wood burning oven stationed behind glass.
The French country inspired cuisine starting with Horsd’oeuvre of Oxtail Soup, Chicory Frisee Salad and Littleneck Clams sounded enticing, but the Rabbit Boulettes with Herb Dumplings and Maple Cream were delectable to say the least.
The tender meatballs were as light as air, but my only complaint would be the temperature. The entire meal was room temperature at best and one would even say…. cold on most bites. Next, Tartines or medium sized crostini topped with various meats, fruits and cheeses read amazingly. The Beef Tartar with Roquefort, Chive and Marrow was outstanding and since it was meant to be cold, the perfect temperature.
The Wood Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Epoisses, had delicious flavor, but again it tasted as if it had been prepared 15 minutes beforehand. I love the Epoisses cheese on top and for a few extra dollars – Roasted Bone Marrow on the side.
To cut the fat and add some veggies to the meal, Wood Grilled Rapini with Crunchy Chili Vinaigrette.
“Table Fare” as our server called it, was a smathering of accoutrements – Carrot Salad, Mustard, Horseradish Cream, Roasted Tomato, Pickled Veggies of sorts – all to go with your entree. I thought the idea was unique and a nice touch for guests to sample house made condiments.
Most wines are served by the glass, unless you want to spend over $100 a bottle. Corkage is high at $30.00 per bottle and the wine list is relatively small. Cadet has great ambiance and a talented chef, their timing just needs a little work to create the perfect meal.