M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica

I’m in Singapore looking back at old food photos with nostalgia. While this country treats me well, it doesn’t mean I miss my family, friends and California’s vegan restaurants any less.

The Monday before I left Los Angeles, my best friend and I treated ourselves to a dinner at Matthew Kenney’s M.A.K.E. Our waiter started us off with the Amuse-Bouche (above), a service dish that changes ingredients every week or so. This time around the amuse-bouche was served in two spoons, each filled with a bite of saffron yogurt and cashew topped off with pomegranate, beet, a 48-hour dehydrated piece of watermelon rind and pickled red pepper. The combination tasted like a savory dessert.

Next up was the Sunflower Caesar (below) that had an Asian face to it. It must’ve been the seaweed, the Pacific Arame and dulse. The dish should be renamed to “Chinese Caesar Salad.” There was something familiar about the soft bits of cracker placed on top of a boat of romaine heart. My friend compared it to dog biscuits. Aha, so that’s what it was… I couldn’t help but agree.

The Beet Ravioli (below) was more like a sandwich; two round slices of beet with walnut filling in between. Drizzled on top was the almond-based white sauce of lemon and poppy seeds. The dish was completed with a colorful splash of  bitter greens.

The most delightful portion of the King Oyster Mushroom (below) was the foamy lemon. While the ingredients were clean and fresh, just as M.A.K.E.’s other dishes, the brussels sprout and mushrooms were bland. If you’re looking for flavor, I recommend ordering their popular Kimchi Dumplings. Those you will crave over and over again!

The first bite of the Pumpkin Cheesecake (below) was an explosion. The background dancers, aka: sweet butternut crystals, took the spotlight away from the slice of cake.

Here’s the menu as of September 2013:

For those interested in trying M.A.K.E., know that you don’t go there on an empty stomach. It’s quality food, but portions run on the small side and prices on the high. So unless your wallet can inhale half dozen dishes (easily racking up $80+), you come to M.A.K.E. on special occasions or after eating a small meal beforehand.

395 Santa Monica Place, Ste 333
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 394-7046

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