My wife and I have always loved this space at the base of the Clock Tower building right off of the Promenade. The previous tenants ( Anisette) did a phenomenal job building out the space and making it feel and look like a NYC/French Bistro ( a la Balthazar or Schiller's in NYC). Unfortunately, the food was way too expensive and the hours were never set ( some days they served breakfast other days not).
Having said all of that, it was a nice surprise to see the new tenants open MISFITS last week in the same glorious space. They've been keeping it under wraps and my wife and I were skeptical not just because of the name but because of the promise of yet " another" innovative restaurant in Santa Monica. In the last 5 1/2 years that we've lived here we've seen a lot come and go.
We decided to try it and cozied up to the bar to order a few items and see what their happy hour special was. ( something the previous owners didn't promote very much) The beers were $5 , wines about the same and well drink specials for about $6-$7. For food we ordered the French Onion Soup ( not that good), hummus plate ( not enough bread as always) and a santa monica market local salad with quinoa ( very good).
The atmosphere was nice, a few cosmetic changes but the addition of the outdoor seating was a bonus ( it's amazing that SM restaurants don't offer very much outdoor dining no thanks to the ridiculous rules by the city and the price of permits, etc.). It was pretty crowded for a Thursday and the service was exceptional. When we pieced it together ( since LA service is notoriously lacking and plain awful) we found out that the owners of LGO ( formerly La Grande Orange now called something else on Main Street) also own this restaurant. We stayed for about an hour and we told ourselves we would come back for a full scale dinner and/or lunch.
The thing we noticed the most after previewing the overall menu was that unlike Anisette, The Misfits offered a more balanced menu at more reasonable prices. This is critical in today's economy and for what restaurants charge here in SM it's good to know that owners are making amends to their approach.
My next reviews will be about the food court/restaurants at the new Santa Monica Place. I'll need to have a few drinks before I get in to that one...