This is the first place we ate at during our recent visit to Santa Monica, mainly because it was one of the only places open at 10AM (that's lunch time in Chicago, 12PM). We were starving so we thought we'd get a small meal here. Per the waiter's recommendation I got an open-faced vegan sandwich made with black bean hummus. Surprisingly, it was really good - all ingredients were fresh and full of flavor. I'd definitley return.
I walk by this restaurant often and have eaten here a few times. Was just here again in several weeks ago. Here's my Le Pain Quotidien review for happycow.
It's in a very busy part of Santa Monica downtown where there's a lot of pedestrian walking traffic (tourists). The space is small-ish (but not too tight), cozy if you will. It is usually filled at meal time.
Their revised menu is the same as the Le Pain Quotidien in Beverly Hills/LA and perhaps at their other locations throughout (this is an national & international chain). The vegan suitable dishes are all marked on the menu with an orange carrot, which makes it convenient to find.
The fresh baked artisan bread loaves are delicious, though expensive. You could get 1/2 loaf or full. Seems like the vegan scone is available daily in the pastry section (like the Beverly Hills location).
I like the quinoa tabouleh salad, the multi-grain loaf (with raisins and nuts), and their soups. A daily vegan soup is offered. Bread is served with many of the menu items. Has soymilk for coffee drinks (no extra charge, though espresso drinks are already a bit expensive).
Vegetarians, vegans, and non-veg eaters can all come here and break bread together.Pros: vegetarian & vegan choices, good bread, downtown location
Cons: a bit pricey, so-so coffee
You can often find vegan muffins and other pastries here. The tartines are divine. Don't miss out on the Riz Au Lait either, its made with rice or almond milk. This location has a few tables outside where you can people watch. If you want to escape the rat race on 3rd street the inside is a welcome departure.Pros: vegan muffins, tartine, riz au lait
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