Thursday, November 09, 2006
I was driving down Lincoln Blvd. near Navy, figuring out where to have lunch today, and I saw a red awning that said "PANINI BEER TAPAS WINE." I pulled over immediately! It is a little Spanish/Argentinean/Italian restaurant, with wine corks lining the walls and MTV en Espanol on the TV. Order at the counter, grab a bowl of peanuts and have a seat. They offer several panini stuffed with items such as steak, Italian cold cuts, Milanesa style chicken, meatballs and sausage ($4.95-$8.00), including an approx. 10" x 10" "Bikini Panini" with ham and Provolone, grilled on the press and cut into several pieces, ideal for a group. From their tapas menu I had a baked spinach empanada ($1.95), chicken tamale ($1.95), and a wonderful, garlicky garbanzo salad.
They offer over 60 different beers ($2.50-$6.00) sangria and wine, including an Argentine Malbec as their house wine ($5.00)
This is a great little neighborhood hangout. Friendly service, and a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. I would love to come back with a group and share several dishes and linger over some wine and conversation. They waiter told me Santino's has been under new ownership for the last two years, but has been there for 30 years. Did this used to be the submarine sandwich restaurant?
3021 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA