Brick + Mortar Makes Its Home On Main Street
Located on Main Street in Santa Monica, behind Ben & Jerry’s, the gastropub is adjacent to the Edgemar Center for the Arts. The two hidden spots rely on word-of-mouth and advertising for business. Keeping customers, however, is another story. Brick + Mortar does not seem to be having problems with repeat business.
According to one amiable server, Salute, the previous wine bar occupying this space, closed it doors on Jan. 29. Just a short stint later, Brick + Mortar had completely renovated opening on Feb 9. Inside, the high ceilings and impressive size of the room give it a wide-open feel, making it great for groups. It’s hard to determine why one restaurant fails and another makes it, and harder still to predict success. Delicious food certainly increases the odds. B+M doesn’t just deliver dishes to your table; I call it food art.
Starting with a puffy pizza dough loaf and a pot of hummus topped with colorful olives, each dish arrives prettier than the next; like a food fashion show. The next plate of spicy tuna is dressed up with dynamite sauce and rolled with avocado and cucumber; light and bright.
Each of the salads is bursting with accessories like cranberries, radish and anchovies. Hazelnuts spot our pear salad, which stands out with a headdress of creamy goat cheese. Assembled similarly to the spicy tuna dish but with darker and greener tones are the diver scallops with asparagus, shimeji mushrooms, peas and shoots. For someone who has trouble eating her vegetables, this is a piece of cake.
Since B+M caters to a wide variety of people, from college kids to romance-seeking couples, the menu is just as all encompassing. Cheeseburgers, pizzas, steaks and spaghetti are available for those who like to keep it simple. For the rest, the spicy pork and seafood ramen is a surprisingly popular item. The same amiable server said people walk in not expecting such an exotic find, but Chef Laurent Saussy made an executive decision to serve up ramen the way he liked it on the Westside. The chicken and pork pot pie sounds and tastes like homey comfort food, but it’s garnished as if it were stepping out for a night on the town.
As if the preceding rundown of dishes wasn’t enough, I had to order dessert. It’s what I live for. I ordered two, toffee and carrot cake; both amazing, but only one truly steals my heart. Hint: The toffee cake is comparable to the one served at the Westside Tavern on Pico Boulevard. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know the importance of my declaration. As Sinéad O'Connor sings, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
B+M offers an entire menu of cocktails, beer and wine. For $11, order the BRICK+LUNCH, which includes a salad or sandwich, side of fresh fruit or pasta salad, drink, and chocolate chip cookie available for pick-up Monday thru Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reach reporter Jessica here.