clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This New Semi-Hidden Santa Monica Hotspot Will Be the Hangout of the Summer

Tucked away in a courtyard just steps from the pier, Mon Ami is a cool-kid destination that serves cocktails and lounge fare all night long

A side angle of a long wooden table filled with meats and vegetables and cocktails at a new restaurant at daytime.
A full spread at Mon Ami.
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Santa Monica’s newest indoor-outdoor hangout is here, and just in time for some suitable spring weather. Despite a season of below-average temperatures and rainy days, sunnier moments are now close at hand for greater Los Angeles, and that means it’s time to consider the brand-new Mon Ami, opening formally for dinner on Friday, May 5. Situated in the former 41 Ocean lounge space at 1541 Ocean Avenue, this new courtyard hangout feels a world away from the touristy bustle on the other side of the wall, making it ideal for locals and in-the-know tourists alike.

The new Mon Ami comes to life this week by way of the Pacific Coast Hospitality team, known locally for operating nearby Canary in downtown Santa Monica. This follow-up project will take the same airy, lush design approach, with plenty of rattan, wood, and textiles. Because the space is more lounge-focused and is housed in a courtyard, diners and drinkers will also find lots of colorful weatherproof tile, stucco touches, umbrellas, and stuffed, plush seating around low tables. John Sofio of Built Inc. designed the new space.

White and black diamond couches in a lounge-y space with low lights and tables.
Lounge seating galore.

Samir Mohajer (Rustic Canyon) and Sabel Braganza (EP + LP) are on to oversee the opening menu, which moves through Mediterranean waters to hit staple flavors from France, Morocco, Italy, Greece, and Spain. There may be prosciutto-wrapped tomatoes at one table or burrata toast with gazpacho at another, while a chicken tagine with pickled carrots and a seared branzino with olive tapenade hit a third. There are takes on a Greek moussaka with oyster mushroom ragout and cauliflower shawarma for the vegan and vegetarian sets as well, plus a grilled romaine Caesar and plenty of desserts, like loukoumades with honey. Cocktails span the gamut from a mozzarella-washed vodka and clarified tomato-basil cordial to a tequila, Aperol, and elderflower mix with grapefruit called the La Gondola. The opening menus are below.

The new Mon Ami should make immediate waves when it opens on Friday in Santa Monica. A number of new tenants have hit the busy Ocean Avenue row in just the past few weeks, from the white-hot Bar Monette to the reborn Art Deco hotel destination the Georgian, while existing hangouts like Elephante and Chez Jay still play to busy weekend nights. Further south on Main Street, perhaps LA’s coolest new restaurant drag, Cobi’s, Isla, and Coucou have all captured a colorful and youthful Westside audience, something Mon Ami should be able to replicate as well. It’s a good time to be hanging out by the beach, indeed.

Mon Ami opens Friday, May 5 at 1541 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, 90401, keeping hours from 5 p.m. to late, Tuesday through Saturday, with weekend brunch coming in the summer.

A side angle of grilled vegetable Caesar and pink plate at a new restaurant.
Mon Ami Caesar with grilled romaine.
A wooden wall with golden signage and leafy foliage.
Grilled vegetables and meat skewer snacks from overhead at a new restaurant.
Wide noodle pasta with yellow sauce and seafood on a blue plate.
Lobster alla Catala pasta.
Crispy skin white fish and lemon wedge on a blue plate at a new restaurant.
Pan-seared branzino.
A red-yellow sauce on top of grilled chicken with a lemon wedge at a new restaurant.
Seven-spice chicken.
A sliced medium-rare steak with on the vine cooked tomatoes on a blue plate at a new restaurant.
Seared steak and tomatoes.
A yellow-orange tom collins cocktail glass with slice of orange at daytime, outside.
A red-orange cocktail with a rose petal and wide ice cube on a wooden table.
A green-yellow cocktail in a wide glass on a bright yellow exterior table with blue tile beyond.
An array of sweets, including fried bread squares, chocolate cake, and drinks.
A table of desserts.
Yellow outdoor seats and wooden touches under an umbrella at a patio restaurant at night.
A cozy dim nook outside for lounge chairs and low tables at a new restaurant, at night.
Golden light and blonde wood plus house plants at a new restaurant with lounge seats, at night.
Indoor-outdoor seating.
Tufted seats for outdoor dining on a stucco patio, dimly light at a restaurant at night.
Stucco and wall sconces.
A bright yellow umbrella at a new restaurant patio at night, with lounge-y vibes.
The neon-lit entrance to a new patio and courtyard bar and restaurant, with tile and stucco, at night.

Mon Ami

1541 Ocean Avenue, , CA 90401 (424) 645-5550 Visit Website
City Guides

An Eater’s Guide to Los Angeles

AM Intel

A Legendary Old-School LA Steakhouse Gets a Sleek New Design Refresh

LA Restaurant News

The Rundown on the New Laws That Will Impact California’s Vital Restaurant Industry