The other day my friend Jamie and I decided to grab a quick bite to eat, after a long day of shopping, at the Sonoma Wine Garden at Santa Monica Place. Where I'm from in upstate NY, eating at the mall consists of poorly-lit chain restaurants or fast food in the food court.... in California it's a whole different ball game. Dining at Santa Monica Place means enjoying the same quality restaurants you would find anywhere else in Santa Monica.
As we made our way inside Sonoma, we immediately exited onto their multi-tiered outdoor patio. We sat down at one of their many wrought-iron patio tables, and were promptly greeted by our waiter. We perused the extensive wine list, and both ended up ordering a glass of Fogdog Pinot Noir at $15 a glass.
Since we had both eaten breakfast we decided to just start off sharing the Chef's tasting platter (pictured below), and then if we were still hungry we would order something else as well.
When we first saw the plate we were both thinking that it wouldn't be enough... but let me tell you, this plate goes a long way. It was a great combination of cheeses and meats, and I think my only complaint would be that the bread tasted just a little bit stale. Other than that, the cheese plate was very good and I can't wait to go back soon and see what their dinner menu has to offer. If you are looking for a restaurant with great views, friendly staff, a nice wine list, and the convenience of being in a mall, look no further than Sonoma Wine Garden.
Although the wine was on the pricier side, I really enjoyed my Pinot Noir, and I felt that the tasting plate was priced very fairly, especially since a piece of cheese that size would normally be $6 per piece ($18 would have been the price just for the three cheeses). Overall I had a great lunch and I would definitely go back again!