Santa Monica’s own Thyme Cafe and Market has predated the inbound Joan's on Third by more than five years, offering healthy takeaway options and an assortment of artisan dry goods for the neighborhood. That success has led owner Maire Byrne to take up residence a block away with a new concept called Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, which drops on Ocean Park Blvd mid-August.
The casual new eatery is a far cry from Thyme Cafe, offering instead an assortment of seasonal small plates and wood-fired pizzas. One Stephen Paul Murray, a sous from Michael Chiarello's Bottega up in Napa, will helm the kitchen and add some Italian influence to the menu.
The wine list is still coming together, but look for big-name bottles and a few off-the-radar labels available by the glass. Cocktails will also be available inside the 2,500 square foot restaurant, which comes with a 47 license intact.
As for the space itself, the design comes from Leslie Hunt and hits all the usual tropes. There’s white subway tile, exposed brick, and butcher-block tables, plus banquet seating and some outdoor tables under, you guessed it, string lights. Nothing fancy, but suitable for a neighborhood restaurant looking to deliver on a casual meal.
When it opens later this summer, expect Local Kitchen & Wine Bar to keep daily hours from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Local Kitchen & Wine Bar
1736 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA