Sunday, August 29, 2010
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."
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.
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