Santa Monica: Pescatarian Paradise at Inotheke
I recently checked out Inotheke, the new Greek restaurant in Santa Monica.
I love Greek food and was glad to see Inotheke open. We started with the freshest Greek salad that had juicy tomatoes and a fantastic feta. Other Greek salads should aspire to this one with its piquant dressing and delicious crisp cucumbers, brine-y olives and sweet red onions.
One of my favorite things about Mediterranean food are all the dips. Inotheke’s eggplant tahini salad is really a dip with excellent pita bread. Like the Greek salad, you can taste how fresh the ingredients are.
When I spoke to the owner about the octopus, he explained you can get grilled octopus at almost every Greek restaurant so he wanted to do something a little bit different. Though he says pickled octopus is a thing in Greece. The result is a great appetizer. It’s not chewy at all and since I love all things tart, I liked the veggies it came with.
We were in a seafood frenzy and also got the cod fritters. Served with a creamy sauce, these are great if you like things like tater tots and crab cakes. The texture reminded me a little of both.
In my world where almost everyone loves cheese, particularly fried cheese, I was disappointed to learn “saganaki” does not mean fried cheese (or cheese on fire) like I always assumed but rather it’s a Greek cooking term that means pan frying. So shrimp saganaki are shrimp that has been lovingly cooked in a tomato sauce with feta and ouzo. I’m going to at least hope the ouzo was set on fire to complete my happy vision of saganaki.
I happened upon Inotheke during Eat Well Week in Santa Monica. This year they celebrated California’s state vegetable, the humble artichoke. Paired with lamb, this dish had a wonderful egg, lemon and dill sauce. This was a great foil for the artichoke as well. And that lamb was so tender.
Pescatarians would be most at home at Inotheke. We went from octopus, to fish, to shrimp and back again to fish. We also got the swordfish, xifias kakavia, which was bathed in a brilliant yellow saffron sauce. I love how every dish had a bit of vegetable and the swordfish came with celery root.
Years ago I tried to give up ground meat. I failed miserably and continue to enjoy things like lasagana, dumplings, hamburgers and of course my fave moussaka. Inotheke’s version has ground beef, zucchini, eggplant and a wonderfully rich bechamel sauce.
I almost made it out the door without dessert but couldn’t pass up this great spice cake. With real whipped cream and whole walnuts, the dense but moist cake was just right.
Currently Inotheke has a beer and wine license. Check out some of their delicious Greek wines.
© The Minty 2016