Eats: Berbere boasts a range of colorful and flavorful vegan Ethiopian dishes. Photos by Danielle G. Adams

New restaurant round up: cheese & charcuterie, vegan Ethiopian fare and fish tacos

The good eats just keep on rolling, with enough new local dining options to fill out a third restaurant round-up. For part 1: Southeast Asian street food, churros and mocktails, see the Nov. 2 edition of the Daily Press and for part 2: bubble waffles, Oaxacan coffee and poolside ceviche, see the Nov. 3 edition.

Lady & Larder

Lady & Larder is an artisanal grocery and kitchen owned and run by two twin sisters, Boo and Sarah Simms, in Downtown Santa Monica. The shop showcases American made cheese and charcuterie as well as a range of kitchen staples including locally grown flowers, fresh bread, caviar, tinned fish, jam, mustard and honey.

Those who come into the store from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. can access the secret lunch menu, which features sandwiches, salads and picnic boxes. Cheese and charcuterie boards, crudite boards and custom cheesecakes are available for pick-up with 24 hours of notice. The sisters source their products from small batch American farmers, craftsmen and butchers. Popular products include fresh baguettes, flake salt and cultured butter, caviar and hand-dipped candles. The first Lady & Larder opened in Mar Vista three years ago and the Simms chose to open the second location in part due to its proximity to the Santa Monica Farmers Market where many of their products are sourced from.

Lady & Larder is open at 828 Pico Blvd., Suite 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Gnarwhal Coffee

Coffee junkies have a new Main Street spot to get their caffeine kick and it is helmed by 30 year Ocean Park resident Tomas Fuller and his business partner Nick Monica. Gnarwhal Coffee serves 100 percent organic brews made on small environmentally conscious farms.

This company’s mission is to make everyone a morning person. Their coffee is currently stocked in around 20 Los Angeles area grocery stores, but this marks their first foray into an in-person cafe. The no nonsense menu offers coffee, espresso, cortado, cappuccino, latte, mocha, cold brew, Baja brew and Chai Latte. There are also a range of fresh pastries available in the morning.

Gnarwhal Coffee Co. is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.


Longstanding Smorgasburg food stand favorite Berbere has opened up a brick and mortar space and it’s unlike any other restaurant in Santa Monica — not only is it the only Ethiopian eatery, but it is also entirely plant based.

Berbere is led by Chef Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu, who was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is a trained nutritionist and driven by a desire to show people how vegan food can be both nutrient packed and bursting with flavor through her use of fresh farmers market produce and vibrant Ethiopian spices such as berbere, korerima and beso bela. Menu highlights include the rosemary root salad, avocado toast with almond berbere spread and Shiro clay pot garbanzo stew with tomato salad and teff injera. Berbere also has a breakfast menu that features creative dishes such as the blueberry teff pancake served with breakfast potato and tofu scramble. There are a range of fresh juices and smoothies on offer as well as traditional Ethiopian coffee.

Berbere is open at 510 Santa Monica Blvd. from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Santa Monica Whaler

Classic food, drink, sunset and party spot The Venice Whaler has just opened a Santa Monica location. This location also boasts direct ocean views as it is in the former Ma’Kai space on the corner of Ocean Ave and Broadway.

The Venice Whaler is a slice of local history. Open since 1944, it has been visited by a range of musical icons including but not limited to the Doors, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys. The new space aims to tap into that legacy by creating a popular seaside spot for friends, family and visitors to sip some margaritas, have a burger and respectfully get a little rowdy. The menu serves classic American dishes and a lot of seafood. Crowd favorites include the Whaler wings, ahi tuna poke nachos and the “world famous fish tacos.”

The Santa Whaler is open at 101 Broadway Ave. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.