Inside Élephante, A New Rooftop Resto Serving Up A Slice of the Mediterranean in Santa Monica

Just wait 'til you see the view.

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Photos: Courtesy of Connie & Stewart Uy/Élephante

You can't throw a beach pebble without hitting a modern eatery dressed up with contemporary decor in Santa Monica, but Élephante isn't your ordinary coastal culinary destination. It's the newest spot by restaurateur Nick Mathers, who took notes from his visits to the Sicilian town of Pantelleria and beyond when dreaming up the stylish rooftop resto — and fashionable foodies can experience it all sans stepping foot into LAX when it officially opens next Monday, July 9.

Landing in Downtown SaMo, the seaside hangout merges the Mediterranean's globally-informed atmosphere with LA's laid-back lifestyle. Mathers — who's also behind Eveleigh, Goldie's, and Little Ruby, among others — teamed up with designer George Garrow to create the space, which features custom teak cabinets, wicker furnishings, limestone walls, tigerwood and terrazzo stone flooring, and Brazilian teak decking, to name just a few interior design touches.

Rounding out the decor are finds gifted by Mathers' friends or found by designer Tara Bean, like Buherra baskets from northern Africa, terra cotta from Tulum, wooden lampshades from Jalisco, garlic gourds from Zimbabwe, handwoven textiles from Morocco and Turkey, and handmade ceramics from Bali's Cisco and the Sun and LA's Sloane Angel.

As far as the menu (helmed by renowned Aussie chef Thomas Lim), expect a blend of flavors from California and Southern Italy, resulting in light salads, grilled meat and vegetables, handmade pastas and pizzas, and cocktails. Summer dishes include crispy artichokes and marinated castelvatrano olives for small plates; tuscan kale salad with apples, pepitas, radish, and a gorgonzola/buttermilk vinaigrette; and broccolini with crispy shallots, chili oil, and cashew and lemon pesto.

For lunch and dinner, there's pastas like saffron spaghetti with lobster and basil; tajarin with summer truffle and pecorino; and a classic garlic and oil spaghetti; while carnivores can enjoy veal Milanese, bone-in rib eye steak, or whole lobster with Italian-drawn butter and lemon.

Of course, there's plenty of pizza (created by Angelo Womack) inspired by the traditions of Naples and made from a 12-year-old mother dough of Italian and American flours. Translation: A classic margherita; a soppresata pie with mozzarella, truffle honey, crushed tomatoes, and chili oil; and a salad pizza topped with mozzarella, mixed greens, lemon, and EVOO; among others.

Dessert wasn't forgotten either: Offerings include tiramisu; passion fruit pavlova; and seasonal fruit crostada with tres leches ice cream.

Intrigued? Scroll through the gallery above for a taste of what to expect, then book your table stat over at Resy.

Élephante is open Monday through Wednesday from noon to midnight, Thursday and Friday from noon to 1am, Saturday from 10am to 1am, and Sunday from 10am to 10pm; (424) 320-2384.

1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

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