For the past year there’s been a growing campaign to embrace Meat Free Mondays, a suggestion that we eat meat-free one day a week, to promote health, nutritional diversity, and ecological balance. Celebrities including longtime vegetarian Paul McCartney, daughters Stella and Mary, chef Mario Batali, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Sheryl Crow, Ricky Gervais, Woody Harrelson, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, and even LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have lent their enthusiastic endorsement. Now, in recent months, several local restauranteurs have also joined the battle cry, by offering special vegetarian options on Mondays.
One of the most attractive is Chef Michael Reardon’s prix fixes at One Pico, the restaurant of Shutters on the Beach hotel with breathtaking views of Santa Monica bay (above). Every Monday for the past five weeks, Reardon has created market-driven three-course meatless menus with dishes like English pea soup, heirloom tomato panzella, parmesan gnocchi with burratta and brown butter, and blood orange crème brulee.
This week’s menu offers Piquillo Gazpacho, Pickled Cucumber and Celery Hearts or Heirloom Tomato “Caprese” with Buratta, Fresh Basil, Roasted Red Peppers, Balsamic, Grilled Crostini; Farro Risotto with Brocolini, Artichoke, Olives, Pecorino and Thyme or Parmesan Gnocchi with Pomodoro and Fresh Ricotta and for dessert, Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Huckleberries.
Of course, One Pico isn’t the only restaurant in town supporting Meat Free Mondays. Nearby Santa Monica stalwart Locanda del Lago has been offering meatless dishes on Mondays for several months, as has Batali’s Osteria Mozza naturally.
You can also consider one of our more beloved vegetarian-friendly restaurants, such as Inn of the Seventh Ray, Joe’s of Venice, or Real Food Daily.
One Pico is located at Shutters on the Beach, 1 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, 310.587.1717
Locanda del Lago is located at 231 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, 310.451.3525
Osteria Mozza is located at 6602 Melrose Avenue, 323.297.0100
Inn of the Seventh Ray is located at 128 Old Topanga Road, Topanga, 310.455.1311
Joe’s is located at 1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, 310.399.5811
Real Food Daily is located at 414 North La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood, 310.289.9910