Milo & Olive

Relax and Let Them Feed You

Last Saturday my hubby and I ventured into Milo and Olive in Santa Monica at about 4:30 in the afternoon. I had just finished work, we were in the ‘hood and a previous visit had left me wanting more. I had been there before with a girlfriend and loved the food, the ambiance and the general ‘cool factor’ of the clientele. I mean, half the guys that I saw there had black nail polish… on their thumbs. Only their thumbs. They must be cool, right? Chris and I were going to hang out in a ‘cool’ resto.  Cool!

I figured that, with the early hour, we would practically have the place to ourselves. However, when we walked in Chris looked at the 2 communal tables, each seating 8, and I know he wanted to leave. There wasn’t an empty seat, even at the bar. Seeing place settings at a stand up bar in the entrance didn’t help his initial reaction, thank god THEY were empty, at least. FYI, on my prior visit, even they were somewhat occupied. I did the math; 16 seats at tables, about 8 at the bar and possibly 6 standing to dine = 30 capacity. Quite cozy. 

I hesitantly stepped up to the bakery area which had the most wonderful display of breads and small baked goods to go. Everything looked fashionably earthy and good for you, even the maple walnut sticky buns and whole wheat croissants. I asked about being seated; a 10 minute wait? Ok, we can do that. A glance at the wine menu? Sure. At the stand up bar we perused. Chris ordered a red and, after some consultation with the friendly hostess, a sweet-ish white for me. While waiting for our wine we checked it all out, more bakery observation, looking at what folks were having… you do that too, right? The space is small and intimate, well lit and energetic. Think of a cozy modern open floor plan home and that’s about it. We had barely tasted and approved the wine before we were seated; communal style, at a corner spot… perfect. Who knew that sitting corner wise was the way to go! We could look at each other, share, even hear each other in the lively space. Sparkling filtered water, a glass of vino, lots of attention and cool people coming and going. ahhh, I was in heaven! 

We conferred and decided to share the marinated green beans… olive oil, spices and herbs, a little cheese; we were, again, in heaven. Then, with a little help from our incredibly friendly waitress (it felt as though she just cared about our enjoying the meal and the afternoon) the choice was made; that days’ special pizza: Crimini Mushroom with Fiddlehead Ferns. That was a mouthful and so was the pizza itself. The word ‘Pizza’ actually doesn’t do it justice. AMAZING! We ate every bite, declaring our love for said artisan creation. Fiddlehead Ferns are rolled up and funny looking, not even previously imagined on a pizza but they were perfect. This pizza didn’t come with an egg on it as many of them do. It is an option but Chris and I chose not to mess with Milo and Olive’s creation. (The last time there my friend Helen and I had a Butternut Squash ‘pie’ with greens and an egg on top, BTW… Killer!) 

I happily devoured my meal while trying to look ‘cool’ I watched some other Santa Monicans stroll in. All were in casual wear, some just after the gym… probably Equinox, seeing their trainers. No black polish in sight, at least not on the guys. I love people watching and it was great watching that day. 

Along with checking out the clientele we checked out the bakery and, lo and behold, there was a small dessert display for the restaurant only, off to the side. It was very simple, just like the rest of the environment; a decadent chocolate temptation, a fruity cake and … cornmeal cake with whipped cream and blueberries. OMG, Perfect! We shared a slice. It was light, fresh and not too sweet. Chris doesn’t care for corn or cornbread but he had no problem with this- we practically inhaled it. What a great finish to our early dinner.  

We asked for our check and a loaf of the earthy whole grain bread (named Country Loaf) from the bakery; ‘oh, you don’t slice? Ok, we’ll just take it ‘as it is’.  

As we got up to leave, feeling satisfied and very happy, the girl next to me leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I like your style.” I floated out of Milo and Olive… maybe I was a ‘cool kid’ after all.


2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA        310-453-6776

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Wine and Beer

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