Barbuto is a must stop in NYC, Johnathan Waxman’s wood fired roast chicken is a game changer. One could argue that it is the best chicken dish out there, certainty the best I have experianced. In 1979 Johnathan Waxman opened his first restaurant, Michael’s, which was a ground breaking restaurant for its time. People like Nancy Silverton, the current Mozza Chef, helped to build on the mystique and deliver a superior farm-to-table thirty-five years before it became a trendy catch phrase.
Knowing that there is zero connection to the Michael’s of today and its past glory, it still has always been an intriguing option. I even popped my head in once and thought that it was too empty, a little tired and very dark. Then I had to find a place to have dinner alone – too tired to venture far from the Palihouse – empty, quiet and dark sounded like a great option.
I sat at the bar and ordered a glass of red Zinfandel, the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market heirloom tomato and burrata salad, a market vegetable personal sized pizza. The tomato salad was excellent the tomatoes were the perfect balance of acidic sweetness. The pizza was too packed with vegetables for my liking, but a solid crispy crust can always win me over. All and all I was happy that I stopped in, the underlying ideas are still good but understand that the past is the past and you will not find Michael’s glory days anywhere inside.
Michael’s Santa Monica
1147 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90403
“Michael’s was a volcanic eruption in the food scene of LA, the kitchen was filled with young Turks, all eager to make their mark on the culinary landscape.”