M.A.K.E. Santa Monica | Matthew Kenney Cuisine
Last week I had the opportunity to dine at the Matthew Kenney restaurant, M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica. M.A.K.E. is located in the new mall area, Santa Monica Place, at the end of the 3rd Street Promenade on the top level in The Market. Matthew Kenney has written 11 books on raw recipes. Raw is any food that is cooked below 118 degrees Fahrenheit, usually at 105 degrees, depending who you talk to! ;) As someone who has tried a raw vegan diet, I can honestly say how great such a diet made feel mentally and physically. Although, I no longer follow this type of diet I still can appreciate and enjoy it! And that’s exactly what I did while dining at M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica!
396 Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Immediately when I saw M.A.K.E. I was impressed with the design aesthetic. It had it’s very own unique vibe to it, it definitely stood out from the other restaurants in The Market.
I first have to say I was overly impressed not only with the taste of every single thing I tried but also by the presentation! So beautiful! It was almost too pretty to eat! (But I’m glad I did because it was all extremely delicious!) I think it’s safe for me to say that even if you are not a raw vegan, you would really enjoy the food here and probably not even be able to tell it was raw and/or vegan! That’s how good it was!
The first thing I tried was an amuse-bouche. This hors d’oeuvre was made up of a walnuts and apples wrapped in a nasturtium leaf. So delicious! Thank you chef! :)
To drink Bethany had the Sweet Green Juice, which is made up of Green Apple, Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Lemon and Lime. She said it was very tasty and would definitely order again! I tried the Tropical Green smoothie, which had Pineapple, Kale, Ginger, Coconut Butter and Almond Milk. This smoothie was one of the best ones I’ve had in a while! Very good! I too would definitely order this again!
Our second course was two items from their share plates, the Tree Nut Cheeses with Pears and Pickled Cauliflower, Sweet & Spicy Mustard seeds and Fennel Crisps and Mushroom Pate with celeriac (which is a root vegetable) served with Herb Mustard Crackers. Both dishes were very good! I have to say out of the two I really enjoyed the Tree Nut cheese dish the most, as I am not a huge mushroom person. Bethany and I were really impressed at how the “cheeses” tasted exactly like cheese but were obviously not!
Next, we had the Kimchi Dumplings with Ginger foam and Coriander. I absolutely loved this dish! So tasty!
For the main course we had two of their most popular dishes, the Black Pepper Kelp Noodles made with Mushroom Snap Peas, olive crumb and pea vine. The other dish was their Market Tomato Lasagna made with Zucchini, Macadamia, Santa Barbara Pistachio and Basil. One word….AMAZING! So impressed with the presentation and the taste of both of these dishes! I would come back just to have either of these! If I were to pick one over the other though, it would be a hard choice, but I’d have to say I liked the Black Pepper Kelp Noodles the best!
For dessert we had their Chocolate Cake and their Peppermint Ice Cream. Again, two amazing dishes and as someone who LOVES sweets I really enjoyed both of these! It made me wonder why anyone would want to eat “regular” cake or store bought, unhealthy ice cream when you can have sweets like this that are way better for you and leave you with little to no guilt!
M.A.K.E. has a modern yet rustic vibe, which I think is definitely cohesive with the focus of their menu being raw vegan. It feels earthy but also clean and has feel of being a little upscale. Not the stuffy, uptight upscale but not your typical vegan restaurant either. There is a lot of wood in the restaurant, dark accents and succulents on each table and on the wall by the kitchen. Each table is also made of wood but to add that sense of modernism to the restaurant they have iron chairs and bar stools and a marble countertop at the bar.
I think for the quality of food you get along with the vibe of an upper scale vegan restaurant, I think it’s very reasonable! You can expect your main course to run you about $15-$18.
Great service! Everyone at M.A.K.E. is very friendly and polite!
Very quiet and relaxing. I was also dining here during rush hour in LA, so that might have had something to do with that! ;) I do think though that M.A.K.E. is probably pretty low key as it’s located in The Market area away from the other food court, so you most likely will experience that type of ambiance while dining here. Not super noisy or pretentious. It feels cozy in there because of the wood, which also makes it feel darker in there but with all the windows it keeps it pretty well lit!
Amazing! I was really impressed with how good the food was and the presentation of it! It is definitely worth taking a visit to try! Or you can always grab a smoothie, juice or dessert from, M.A.K.E. OUT, their stand alone shop adjacent to M.A.K.E.!
Written & Reviewed by: Kristen Tola Hettich
Photographed by: Bethany Nauert