I missed going to Leona while Chef Nyesha Arrington was there, so when I found out she had a new restaurant in Santa Monica I was eager to check it out. After seeing a movie in Burbank, Phill and I were hungry, and given that there was no traffic, we booked a table over at Native half an hour later. That’s right we made it all the way from downtown Burbank to downtown Santa Monica in a half hour! Phill started the meal off with a rum-based drink the Palisades Park Swizzle, which was a bit more bitter than he was expecting, but pretty good.
Pretty much everything on the menu looked good, but we narrowed down our order to the bison tartare with maui onion, aisoon sauce and Korean mustard. It tasted like it had a bit too much horseradish, but otherwise was great and definite order.
The short rib “rolled” dumplings with brussel sprouts, charred onion and natural beef jus were delicious as well and also recommended.
For our entrees we had the lamb meatballs with crush Okinawa sweet potato and plantain chips. The meatballs were nice and the thick paste had a nice bit of spice to it.
And the rabbit sumo with semolina spatzle, pickled green tomato and sauce diable. It was like a rabbit stew minus the stew and pretty hearty. We enjoyed it a lot as well.We also decided to have a vegetable and went with broccolini and sun chokes which were really good, especially with the green sauce.
After having such a good meal I couldn’t turn down dessert and so we ordered the deep fried chocolate which had rich dark chocolate ganache filling and was worth the indulgence.
Overall, Native was even more enjoyable than I had expected. The menu has a lot of good options, which means go with more people or come back again. It’s definitely worth the drive to Santa Monica to check this place out and see what Chef Arrington is dishing out.