I had a lovely, leisurely lunch today at Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. This place has been here since 1983, and today was my first visit (a testament to the success of Restaurant Week). The Barbara Lazaroff decor is a bit dated, yet very lively and festive. The other tell tale sign this restaurant was built in the 80's: a pay phone next to the bathroom. For starters, my friend and I shared the Chinios chicken and fried calamari and rock shrimp salads. Both were nice. Slightly spicy fried eggplant joined the shrimp and calamari in a wonton cup, and the chicken salad was light and refeshing, without being too sweet like most Chinese chicken salads.
For the main course, we shared the duck pancakes and stir-fried egg noodles with shiitake mushrooms and beef. The duck pancakes (actually crepes) were good with their rich demi-glace sauce. The noodles were a bit overdressed and over salted, but we finished them anyway.
For dessert I had a nice little chocolate cake, and my friend had the apple spring rolls, which I thought were a bit bland and not sweet enough.
Our server was very friendly and knowledgeable of the wine list and menu. The pace was nice and slow, and the ambiance lively and loud. With thier regular lunch appetizers in the teens, and entrees in the 20's, our Restuarant Week lunch for $22 a piece was quite the bargain. If you are sqweamish and don't like hair in your food and the like, don't look at this next picture of silverfish in the lights.
Chinois on Main