Restaurant: Crudo e Nudo
Location: 2724 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405. (310) 310-2120
Date: January 20, 2023
Cuisine: Raw bar & crudo
Rating: quite tasty!
I’ve been meaning to try this place since it opened. They serve very fresh modern seafood, mostly raw. But it’s not Japanese at all.
The seating is basically outside (although weirdly I’ve heard that recently they got rid of that, maybe stupid rezoning).
Inside there is nothing but a counter to order at.
The menu is on the board.
Striped bass. Smoked oil, za’atar, cilantro blossom. Very soft perfect fish. Interesting blend with the za’atar, but nice. Oil lent a silky quality.
Big Eye Tuna. Aleppo, Colatura, orange. Just a bit of kick. Quite lovely.
Kanpachi. Calamansi vinegar, piment d’espellete, pickled onion, sunflower. Bright citrus notes. These crudos were all good but this was the best.
Abalone. Rose, bay leaf, fennel pollen, yuzu oil. Super tender with interesting flavors. Great chew. I loved this.
Tuna Tartare Toast. Onion confit, shrimp stock, yuzu, sesame. Slick with a bit of an “interesting” taste. Not off at all, just different. Maybe it was the sesame as we had a version with and without the stock and it was the same.
Caesar goes Vegan. Little gems, scrappy croutons, avocado, furikake. Nice for being vegan. Great texture and very fresh. The nori added an interesting quality.
Chicory Salad. Apple, squash, miso maple dressing, hazelnuts, sesame. A little on the sweeter side but great texture and flavor.
Market Mezze Platter. Santa Monica Farmer’s Market veggies, black garlic hummus. The Za’atar took this up. Mostly bitter veggies which was great. Lots of pickles too.
Prawns a la plancha. Diavola, sesame, sunflower. Awesome prawns. Very fresh and full of flavor.
Squid Ink Fried Rice. Sofrito, shrimp stock, chili oil, herbs. Super addictive crunchy texture with a great brine quality.
Steamed Mussels. White wine broth, fregola, herbs, bread. Very nicely cooked with a delicious white wine broth.
Overall, extremely tasty. The outside patio (if they still have it) is very cute. Inside, not so much. I wish they took orders at the table — as I’m not a fan of counter ordering — but the food was very good.
Having a crudo focused restaurant is an interesting concept. Essentially it allows operating with a much smaller kitchen and possibly in spaces without a normal hood, or at least a much smaller hood. Plus it’s pretty protein forward instead of leaning on the carbs.