Inotheke offers Greek inspired small plates with a few larger Mediterranean entrees. The restaurant is a nice stop after shopping on Santa Monica's nearby Third Street Promenade.
There's not a lot of Greek restaurants on the westside. In fact, the only Greek restaurant I've written about on Tasting Page is near downtown and is one of the cornerstones of the Greek community, Papa Christo. The newly opened Inotheke sits just off the Third Street Promenade and offers a simple menu of Greek, or more accurately Mediterranean, dishes.
Of course there are small and large plates to share since I'm pretty sure restaurants aren't allowed to open in Los Angeles without them. Sure, you can find a Greek salad and tzatziki, but there are some more interesting menu items like the Gigantes. As the name suggests, these are, well giant beans, but gigantes is more fun to say. The white beans are cooked in a seasoned tomato based and topped with a dill tzatziki, adding a nice creaminess and garlic punch. The small dish of big beans is deceptively filling and was one of my favorite dishes.
The eggplant tahini salad could have used a little punch. The shallots, parsley and tomatoes were quite understated, and would have benefited from some more seasoning or acid. Even some smoke or char on the eggplant would have brought some more depth.
Octopus is served cold and pickled in a tangy vinaigrette with fennel, carrots and crunchy celery. It's a refreshing dish and good accompaniment to some of the heavier meat items.
In the heartier section of the menu, you can choose from the classic moussaka, a short rib stifado in a shallot red wine sauce, or lamb and orzo. We went with the lamb and it was my favorite dish with fork tender lamb that was well seasoned, and full bodied. The orzo picked up the flavors and made for a satisfying dish.
There are 3 desserts from which to choose including spanakopita, but I was a big fan of the Karithopita walnut cake. The moist cake carried well balanced notes of cinnamon, orange and cloves without being too sweet.
You may not want to drive across town to dine at Inotheke, but if you find yourself shopped out on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade and not happy with the food court selections, then Inotheke could be a good stop-in for a casual Greek bite.
606 Broadway Ave, Santa Monica