Sunday, August 29, 2010


Tiato interior

I've been pretty diligent about not spending money on workday lunches, so I felt all right taking a day off the waiting-for-the-microwave rotation and heading to Tiato for, as I imagined it, "something Vietnamese."

Tiato rice noodle bowl
Vietnamese rice noodle salad with lemongrass chicken and chicken rice crispy rolls ($9): hit the spot with the flavors, but missed the mark with the portion size. I wish I had ordered a side or soup; I'll know better next time.

Tiato hazelnut macaron
Hazelnut macaron ($1.75): my first and I enjoyed it, though not earth-shaking or life-affirming, which I was kinda expecting. The middle was dense and rich; I'm eager to try more macarons in the immediate future.

Although I was still hungry after my lunch at Tiato, I'd go back for another mid-day timeout from my desk. The menu is a bit puzzling (half the items are not traditional Vietnamese, i.e. turkey taco salad and a grass fed burger with beet horseradish aioli), but I suppose a smart move for their customer demographic as it is housed in the MTV Building in Santa Monica.

The serene dining room is full service on one side, pay at the counter and wait with your number card on the other (also grab-and-go with a salad bar and pre-made food). And for those wanting to smell the fresh air and feel the sun, there are tables in the spacious garden area, an unexpected treat. FYI: the restaurant is a little tricky to find; I walked in through the Colorado building entrance and had to ask the security desk for directions (you go through the long hallway of what look like offices and suddenly, there's Tiato); you can also enter through the East Garden Gate on Stewart.

2700 Colorado Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404


weezermonkey said...

I am sad you did not have The First Souffle Experience with the macaron.

We will have to find you some better ones. :)

bagnatic said...

they are probably trying to hit up everybody.

Cathy Danh said...

I've been curious to try Tiato 'cuz the name's so cute! The menu does sound kinda strange though. Glad you stuck to the Viet eats. And glad that you finally tried a mac. Maybe swing by Euro Pane and pick up a salted caramel one? They are very tasty.

Marie said...

Weezermonkey: Oh, that souffle! Yep, planning on trying Paulette for macarons in the near future.

Bagnatic: A little something for everyone is probably not a bad plan, especially for that area.

Cathy: Yes, thanks for reminding me about Euro Pane! I gazed at it through the window while lunching at Yard House last weekend. :P

Esi said...

Hmmm, If I ever find myself on that side of town, I'd be interested to check it out, but you're right, that menu sounds kind of funky.

Marie said...

Esi: Yep. I have to say, it IS a good addition to the sit-down restaurants in that area, which will probably give them a good amount of business.