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Dish: Catch at Casa del Mar Now Open

After a major renovation, Oceanfront restaurant at the Casa del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica reopened as Catch two weeks ago. A contemporary beachy look permeates: white leather woven chairs, dark woods, sky blue and silvery accents. Gorgeous beach views from most tables. It's picture-perfect Santa Monica, really. A sushi bar centers the middle of the room, which, we suspect, is to add a more casual flair. No one wants to be a stuffy hotel restaurant these days. Exec chef Michael Reardon comes by way of Santa Barbara, where he was chef at Casa's sister Hotel Andalucia, and before that New York (Le Bernardin) and Napa (Tra Vigne). The mostly seafood menu (Catch, get it?) has a Mediterranean influence---kampachi or fluke crudo appetizers, roasted monkfish with barolo risotto or branzino for entrees. Desserts, sake, sophisticated wine list all on board. While we don't find the resto's website particularly helpful, it does have a cute make-your-own-kaleidoscope-out-of-sea creatures time suck.