SMYC, Santa Monica Yacht Club opened in April by Chef Andrew Kirschner of Tar & Roses (currently closed due to a kitchen fire) with a seafood focused menu aimed to please. The space is rustic modern with a whimsy nautical touch and tables lining the walls with kitchen & bar off to one side.
The volume of this space is pleasant, compared to most new restaurants in Los Angeles these days, with light music to buffer the hustle of the restaurant. The menu consists of mostly seafood dishes with the exception of a raw Veal Tartar and a small meats section at the bottom, but isn’t the seafood the real reason we are all here?
For starters, the Striped Bass Ceviche in Coconut Water is light and refreshing, I found it as equally good as some I have tasted in Peru. The light hint of citrus cures the fish delicately and the fresh coconut that it is served in adds to the light richness.
Tis’ the season for Softshell Crab served over Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salad. Chef Kirshner’s California take of a crustacean is highlighted by the simple ingredients of home. Loved it!
For a larger plate, the Whole Grilled Trout with Swiss Chard & Chimichurri was cooked to perfection with a delightful herbaceous sauce. The light smokiness of the grill came through with every bite of the fish and the sauteed greens added a mild bitterness. For a side dish, Miso Glazed Eggplant sounds oh too familiar, but Chef Kirschner’s is outstanding. The buttery soy glaze melts in your mouth over the soft roasted aubergine. Don’t miss this one!
SMYC is already a hit in town with reservations hard to come by if you don’t plan ahead. The corkage fee is $20 a bottle which makes it nice for the locals. If you are looking for delicious seafood on the west side of Los Angeles — this is your place.