Chef Brendan Collins and Michael Greco took over Wilshire Restaurant in 2019, revamping a longtime Westside favorite with a seasonal Cal-Italian menu. Fia’s charming plant-lined garden patio is romantic enough for a date but casual enough for any occasion. Farmers-market-driven dishes like brown-butter-grilled corn and sauteed wild mushrooms celebrate seasonal ingredients, while dishes like chicken “Parmesan” with buffalo mozza and handmade capellini with lobster provide much-needed comfort.
Despite a massive outdoor patio, Fia manages to feel cozy and romantic, thanks to an abundance of string lights overhead and lush greenery at every corner. With accommodations to host anywhere from 8 to 500 people in its Parlour Room, Garden Terrace, Fia Lounge, and other spaces, this Santa Monica oasis is as ideal for intimate dinners as it is for more raucous celebrations. Chef Brandon Collins oversees a kitchen turning out Italian and Californian coastal cuisine, such as Burrata with Poached Pear, Handmade Cavatelli, and Marinara-Braised Meatballs.
How to book: Inquire about a large party or event.
Occupying the former Wilshire Restaurant space, Fia feels a little like a secret enchanted garden, with a lush, plant-filled patio and romantic lights strung overhead to create a lovely golden glow. Chef Brendan Collins, who once oversaw Wilshire’s gastropub-esque burgers and salads, now whips up a constantly evolving global menu with an eye on what’s fresh and in season. Appetizers like spicy-tuna-stuffed arancini and grilled Spanish octopus are tried-and-true crowd-pleasers, while more substantial dishes include well-executed Italian pastas and proteins, such as an ultra-tender Beef Wellington that’s served on bacon-wrapped asparagus. On the drinks front, you’re in good hands too; the beverage program sports carefully crafted cocktails and an Old and New World wine list with something to please everyone.