Hey, Santa Monica: Let’s go. That’s the cry, at least, from the new Vamos Vamos at 2917 Main Street, which is charging ahead with some big culinary names and a lot of margaritas and nacho platters.
Vamos Vamos’s surprise opening last night does not mean that the restaurant arrived out of seemingly nowhere. Rather, owners Randy and April Clement have been thinking about this project for a very long time. The couple, who first met in New Mexico years ago, has worked at some of the city’s most lauded restaurants, and perhaps are most famously known as two owner-operators of Silverlake Wine (though they also operate Hippo, Triple Beam, E.R.B., and others). Vamos Vamos is a personal project for the pair, self-funded and with the kinds of breezy California touches and green chile underpinnings that have helped them to make a life together over the decades.
Not that Vamos Vamos will be a New Mexico restaurant; far from it. Instead, under the direction of chef and partner Ivan Barros (previously of Alimento and the Scarpetta world), the menu will move between nachos, tacos, and tostadas to wood-fired pizzas, salads, seasonal sides, and nods like a green chile cheeseburger and carne adovada. There are lots of vegetarian options as well as some vegan plates, and several gluten-free dishes are available to boot.
Emely Cubias (E.R.B., Hippo) is on as partner and directer of operations, and the entire team will be helping out with a drinks menu that includes more than half-a-dozen margarita styles, plus other cocktails, wine, and beer. Eventually, Vamos Vamos will open for early service, meaning Handlebar Coffee, morning palomas, sopaipillas, and breakfast burritos.
For now, find Vamos Vamos pushing into new territory at 2917 Main Street in Santa Monica, keeping hours from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with an extension to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.