It is still possible to enjoy fine dining. We knew this when we arrived at the Pacific Dining Car in Santa Monica. In downtown Los Angeles the Pacific Dining Car has been famous for one hundred years.
In 1990 a second Pacific Dining Car was established in Santa Monica as almost a complete duplicate in decor and ambiance to the downtown location.
We first became acquainted with Nadine Pineda when she was representing Pacific Dining Car at the Awards Banquet of the Southern California Restaurant Writers. And it was at the Awards event that Nadine, personable, attractive and with a warm personality, earned the Southern California Restaurant Writers award and medallion as 'Manager of the Year".
On this visit we were greeted by Nadine and later we took a photo of her with the Medallion she earned.
Here can be found the same elegant decor of etched glass panels, selection of intimate dining rooms, the club like bar and lounge and original paintings gracing the wall as downtown.
The menu is the same with the selection of beef steaks that were absolutely the best and the service staff, a legend in its own right, often with familiar faces. The unique concept of being open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year was maintained at the Santa Monica location as well.
Whatever the time of day the menus at both Pacific Dining Cars are large. The dinner menu opens with a list of appetizers. All three of us this evening started with the lobster bisque which can only be described as memorable.
Besides the whole listing of the prime beef that the restaurant is famous for there were enticing chicken and seafood entrees. The menu also features some unique steak dishes that the restaurant has made famous through the years including the baseball steak, cowboy steak and Filet Oscar. One dining partner chose the baseball steak which arrived with fresh asparagus. The house special Baseball steak is so popular that it also appears on the late night menu. . I chose the Catalina sand Dabs accompanied with fennel and Spinach. Our third member chose the lamb chops which proved a hearty dish indeed with enough to go into a take home bag.
We enjoyed a very special wine with dinner. The Bordeaux red wine was memorable, a 2010 Roc Du Manoir from a winery alongside the Gironde River. It was perfect companion to the steak and lamb chops.
Through the years the Pacific Dining Car added a wine cellar which is continually stocked with fine vintages from both California and European wine producing countries and now has a list of over 100 labels , most from premium domestic and foreign vintners.
The same family has owned Pacific Dining Car through four generations. In downtown Los Angeles Pacific Dining Car opened in 1921 and is located at 1310 West
The Pacific Dining Car in Santa Monica is located at 2700 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica with valet parking and open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Telephone 310 453-4000. It is now enjoying its 27th year.
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