Summer House Santa Monica | Lincoln Park | Contemporary/Regional, Craft Cocktails, Craft Beer, Wine Bar | Restaurant
Instant California from Lettuce Entertain You.

Our Review

Designed to evoke a southern-California beach house, this Lincoln Park spot is among the more atmospherically successful units in the Lettuce Entertain You empire: you can sit in the airy "Vitamin D Room" in the dead of winter and almost forget that once you walk out the door the elements may try to kill you. Tackle the burger, a classic west-coast version dressed with lettuce, tomato, and Thousand Island dressing, and the illusion is strengthened still further; happily, Summer House's version is not the typical slippery, sloppy mess, but a burger restrained enough with the toppings to allow you to appreciate the thick, flame-kissed patty. Yet this, along with the "surfer-style" fish tacos, is one of few truly regional dishes. Instead the menu presents a far-ranging selection of vegetable dishes, salads, seafood, steaks, pasta, and sandwiches—the familiar something-to-answer-every-whim approach that doesn't speak much to any sort of Californian pedigree. Prices are swollen—those tacos, absurdly garnished with slices of out-of-season watermelon, are $22.95—and odd executions seem to plague many of the larger plates. One might have better luck with starters and salads, which are simple, minimally dressed, and feature an abundant variety of greenery. And as scattered as the menu is, it's a relief to see an approachable list of wines mostly from southern California, including some drinkable ones on the lower end of the significant markups. If the dessert menu's apple-cranberry crumble or triple fudge cake aren't persuasive, a good finishing option would be to visit the large bakery case that faces the front doors and select one of the enormous cookies, ranging from apple oatmeal to bacon chocolate chip. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

While the menu at this California-themed Lettuce Entertain You holodeck doesn't speak much to any sort of west-coast pedigree, there's an approachable list of wines mostly from southern California, including some drinkable ones on the lower end of the significant markups. Barring those, there's a handful of light, breezy cocktails—a few built on sparkling or fortified wines. Even the bourbon, tequila, and pisco potions won't make your head spin. There's also some entertainment possible: for a mere $7.95 a white, Summer House-branded beach ball will be brought to you by one of the well-scrubbed young servers, who appear more than game to bat it around for a bit. —Mike Sula


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