10/23/2012 06:32:00 PM

Welcome to the All New Michael's Santa Monica

The patio, upgraded
After a quick nip and tuck, Michael McCarty unveiled a new look and menu for his venerable Santa Monica restaurant this week. As promised, Michael's is now "a modern-day, moderately priced American/Californian brasserie," with an updated patio and bar area, a wood-burning oven and seasonal cocktail program. Hey, after 33 years, you gotta do what you gotta do to stay current.

The iconic patio has much-needed new furniture - no more janky glass-topped tables and white linens - plus new landscaping. It looks better than ever. There's even new tableware, which is a nice touch. The bar now has high-top tables, which are more comfortable for farm-to-glass cocktails and snacking from the bar bites menu. Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto has a new wood-burning oven to play with, so the menu features things like pizzas and various roasted dishes. Keeping with the times, he's added a burger, sliders, tacos (!), a few vegan dishes like polenta with wild mushrooms, and hand-made pastas while keeping an eye towards what comes out of the farmers markets. There's a little bit for everyone, just more accessible and reasonably priced. If you haven't checked it out - you should, for a trip through LA's culinary history alone - now's the time (1147 3rd St.; 310-451-0843).

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