Lunch at Buca di Bepo Santa Monica.
A great spot for lunch is Buca De Bepo in Santa Monica. The location is near the Third Street Promenade. It’s a great place for groups to get together for lunch while enjoying the beach or the pier.
The hostess on my visit was Amanda. She went out of her way to make me feel welcome. She explained the lunch menu and showed me around the restaurant.
When you walk into Buca De Bepo, you feel like you’re being transported to another country. The atmosphere is always inviting and festive. The giant black and white photos of Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra make you feel like you’re in the 1950’s. There are many nooks and crannies to dine in at the Santa Monica location. We sat in a giant booth up front. Red and white checkered tablecloths. We were immediately served fresh made Italian bread.
Chef Joshua Frias made a variety of items for us to sample. First up was the Apple Gorgonzola Salad. This had fresh Granny Smith apples, walnuts, cranberries and Gorgonzola over mixed lettuce with Italian vinaigrette. It was a fresh salad .
The Zuppa di Giorno or Soup of the day was a White Bean Vegetable. A great broth and perfect blend of vegetables.
Next was the Margherita pizza. It was melted mozzarella and basil. It came out hot.
There are several rooms in the Santa Monica Buca de Bepo that deserve mention. One is the Popes table. It’s a round table with the bust of the pope in the center. There are effigies and photos of various popes in the rooms décor. It’s a great spot for groups of tweleve or so to drink wine and comment on the painted ceiling.
The poster room seats up to twenty guests. The ceiling in this room features various Italian posters. These are great for Iphone pics.
Also, the Kitchen room. A secret table in the kitchen that’s perfect for anyone who would like to dine in privacy while watching the staff create all that good food.
I tried the chicken Marsala. I consider this a true test of an Italian restaurant. You might think the chicken parmagean would be the litmus test, but you would be wrong. The Marsala is a far more subtle dish. The sauce is usually made individualy to order. I have to say the chicken Marsala was outstanding. Chef Joshua balanced a good piece of chicken that was cooked nicely. The sauce did not overwhelm the chicken. The mushrooms were delicious. I also had a side of baked rosemary potatoes. These were cooked perfectly.
Finally, the Bianco or White Pizza. It was also delicious. The white pizza has ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, garlic and oregano. A nice crispy, crust.
For desert, the Italian Crème cake. This is three layers of lemon cake and mascarpone cheese filling served on raspberry-hazelnut sauce topped with whipped crème and mint. A perfect treat when lunching at Buca de Bepo.
This restaurant is a perfect destination for families, large groups or parties of two. I recommend trying the lunch or dinner.