Owner and head chef at Art’s Table Mark Mittleman. Photo by Westside People
When the creators of Art’s Table were looking at starting a new restaurant on Montana Avenue they wanted to provide something the neighborhood was lacking and that’s a wine bar.
Co-owner Mark Mittleman brings the traditions of his Italian New York background to a comfortable setting that strives to be the kind of place where everyone knows your name. It’s the attention to customer service and a friendly atmosphere Mittleman understands can be equally as important as the food.
“We’re really about taking care of people,” Mittleman said on a recent visit. “We don’t have a television on purpose because we want it to be a place where you gather with your friends and share good food, wine and beer.”
Before moving to Los Angeles nine years ago to become Sous Chef at the Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel , Mittleman founded Fauna, a family-owned fine dining restaurant, near the Hamptons on Long Island. He went on to consult for several Westside restaurants like Hotel Angeleno when he met business partner Mark Verge, a fifth generation Santa Monica native and hospitality developer , who also owns Shore Bar and The OP Café. Mittleman designed the menu at Art’s Table, described as a kind of gastro pub with wine at the centercrafting small plates and sharable entrees that appeal to the foodie and fitness crowd that reside in the oceanside community.
“A good portion of the menu is just coming up with different things I wanted to try,” he said. “Some of the things are tried and true for me. It’s also location driven. It shouldn’t be about what I want to do. It should be about what are they missing and what can I do to help fill in the void in the neighborhood.”
During our visit, Mittleman presented a unique agave and chamomile brined chicken along with a mini salmon panino that uses gluten-free potato pancakes as bread and a home-made charcuterie plate of cheese and meat.
“We really wanted to elevate the service a little bit, yet still fun and casual,” he said. “There are a whole group of people who moved to Santa Monica in this area who were looking for a place that was close to home that they can walk to and have a good time.”