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Santa Monica’s Most Temperamental Restaurant Space Gets New Pasta Life

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Orto takes over for Mare and, before that, JiRaffe

The former Mare in Santa Monica
Wonho Frank Lee

Santa Monica’s oft-flipping former Mare space won’t stay down for long, as a newcomer has entered the fray with plenty of pasta possibilities. The restaurant is to be called Orto, and there’s already a proposed menu up inside.

Orto comes by way of Andrea Inio, a front of house whiz who has spent time at some of the better Italian restaurants on the Westside, including Locanda Portofino. Now there’s Orto (which is Italian for vegetable garden), opting for a decidedly classic approach to pastas and mains. Expect a $49 angus filet mignon with black truffles, as well as a slew of over-$20 pastas like tagliatelle and cavatelli. Here’s a proposed opening menu below:

Eater was unable to reach the Orto team to discuss timeline and opening details, but things are moving quickly since Eric Greenspan and company decided to ditch Mare at that same address earlier this year. An ABC license is pending for the property, and given the high rent for the area it’s a safe bet to assume everyone involved with Orto will want to start making some money back as soon as possible. In the meantime, pasta-focused diners can head not far away to Uovo, where a Sugarfish co-founder is importing handmade pastas straight from Italy.

502 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA

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