1802 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040134.008176 -118.491323
Tue - Sun, 7am - 3pm; Mon, closed
Neighborhoods: Downtown, West LA
Great Brunch If You're Not In a Rush – My husband and I went to Cora's for the second time for brunch this morning and the food was really excellent. We were seated in the outside patio which has about 10 tables and is really quaint.
My husband ordered the Tuna Melt and I had the Bruschetta with Soft Egg. Both were delicious-- They were both served on this fresh, yummy, crispy Italian bread. The Bruschetta was made with heirloom tomatoes and tasted very fresh and light. The tuna melt was perfectly savory.
My main complaint was that the service was extremely slow. We arrived before 10AM and it took us 15 minutes to get seated, then 5 minutes to get a menu, 15 minutes to get our food, and then 10 minutes to get the bill after we asked for it. The whole meal was a little over an hour, so it was not terrible, but they were definitely not speedy. I think most of it can be attributed to the awkward layout -- the waiters have to pick up food from behind a counter inside the restaurant, walk out the front door, and then deliver it to your table in the outside patio. Definitely not efficient.
All in all, I'd come back because the food was so good, but only if I were not in any rush to go anywhere afterward and had time to have a leisurely meal.
Pleasant atmosphere, great location. – The wait was long, the service was so-so and the food was nothing spectacular. All that said, I liked the place. The menu was original. It has character and I really dug the outdoor patio seating. In their defense it was Saturday mid-morning when me and 4 of my friends decided to give it a try... Can't hold it against them for being slammed during prime weekend brunch hours. I will definitely go back, but will need to be a little more strategic about my timing...
ABSOLUTELY THE WORST SERVICE I'VE EVER HAD! – The food was just ok, but the SERVICE WAS ABSOLUTELY THE WORST service I've ever had in a restaurant. We were 2 couples plus a baby. We wrote our name on the sign-in list at 11:50am on Saturday, June 27, and waited over an hour to be seated. The first time our name was called, when the host/man found out we had a baby in our party, he said we would have to sit outside (our preference anyways), so would have an additional wait; they didn't seem pleased to see the baby at all. We were waiting on a bench just around the corner from the front entrance, since the front was jammed with waiting people, servers running in and out of the restaurant, and didn't have much shade. But the host/man did find us there the first time. Then, we proceeded to wait and wait, until finally one of our party went to ask someone how much longer it would be, and found out they had seated a few other parties ahead of us. The host/man claimed he called our name, but we asked why he didn't try to find us just around the corner where we were originally? He just said he called our name a few times... We eventually got seated another 15-20 minutes later.
We then ordered and ate our lunch at a reasonably relaxed pace, and after paying the bill, proceeded behind the restaurant where we had parked. Our friends with the baby left ahead of us, and as we were getting into our car, a man walked over and asked us why we had parked there. We said we just had lunch there. He said but the parking was only for people eating at the restaurant. We said we just finished lunch at the restaurant, paid the bill, and were leaving. He said why were you parked here for 4 hours? We said all we did was eat lunch and leave. I looked at the time (~3:00pm) and said we were here 3 hours (not 4) because we weren't seated for over an hour! This man did not believe a word we said and continued in his accusatory tone to ask us where we had sat for lunch. We pointed to the outdoor patio and said to talk to the waiter. We then asked to speak to his manager. He said he was the manager. We asked to speak to the owner. He claimed to be the owner as well. (We found out later that he lied about being the owner because he certainly didn't look like the pictures of Bruce Marder we found.) So we said we were never coming back and would post our restaurant experience on all the review websites. He just nodded and said ok, and asked us to calm down while it was clear he still didn't believe we patronized the restaurant. During this awful experience, we noticed a tow truck watching us at the entrance to the parking lot and figured this man had almost towed our car without even asking any of the patrons in the restaurant whether the car belonged to them!
An unbelievable experience! I do understand the initial wrong assumption of why our car was parked there for so long, but after a few words of explanation, would have expected an apology or at least an attempt to clear things up, but to completely ignore what we were saying and to simply continue accusing us of parking there without patronizing the restaurant was baffling and unacceptable.
We will definitely NEVER return and will urge our friends to do the same.
Perfect brunch destination – A friend wanted to try Cora's, so we went for a late breakfast. Unfortunately, the wait for a table was so long that we wanted lunch by the time we sat down, but I was grateful once I got my meal. The breakfast options looked amazing, but I went with the hamburger salad that was recommended by our server. It was fabulous! It was a perfectly cooked cheeseburger on top of fresh butter lettuce and arugula and an assortment of fresh tomatoes. The dressing was the lightest combination of olive oil, salt and pepper - the perfect complement to the burger. All the servers were friendly and attentive and even provided water while we waited outside in for our table. I can't wait to go back!
Forgettable – Though this little spot is darling, and in a great location, we found the service to be severely lacking, and the food utterly forgettable. We were seated promptly, however, we sat there, ignored, for 20 solid minutes....luckily we'd grabbed a copy of the Times on the way in! When we were finally acknowledged, our order was taken and the food was brought out fairly quickly. His caprese omelet was nothing spectacular and could have benefited from a touch of olive oil and salt, while my huevos rancheros were okay, but lacked spice. A plus: the coffee was delicious!
Worth waiting in line – I?ve driven by Cora?s a bazillion times and always wanted to stop in but either had somewhere else to go, couldn?t find parking or was put off by the line-up out front. Sunday the boyfriend and I finally went and now I wish we had checked it out earlier. We chose a table inside (loud but not too bad) to avoid the line, next time I for sure want to sit on the patio. I had the orange-blueberry pancakes (AWESOME), he had the bacon and eggs (so now know how scrambled eggs are SUPPOSED to be). We?ll definitely be back soon!
A little bit pricey...A little bit small...and a whole lot of love for Cora's! – Cute and charming spot in SM - try to grab a seat on the outdoor patio, because it's more cramped inside the cafe. Come early for a weekend breakfast, because there can be a wait for tables. Yes, the place is very small, but the food and ambiance are nice. You won't find a "value-menu" here, but the prices are still reasonable enough for an occasional meal (and if you are the type to complain about spending a few bucks on coffee/OJ, then you may want to patronize another cafe called "Your Home"). The staff are VERY friendly and accommodating. Parking is limited to a small lot in the back or whatever street parking is available. The cafe is just a block above the beach, so you can always stroll down to water after enjoying a nice breakfast!
Sweet Spot – I think Cora's is adorable. Yes the tables are low and the patio is small but it has charm. I love sitting outside drinking coffee and sharing pancakes. The latte's are delish and the orange and blueberry pancakes are awesome. I also recommend the caprese omlette. Not keen on the roasted chicken. The patio is the perfect warm afternoon hang out. I like to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it is quiet. The staff is always happy and helpful. The have even gone next door to get balsamic vinegar for me which they do not stock themselves. It's not perfect but it's worth it.
Don't see the hype... – Cora's always has ridiculously long lines, for mediocre food. Just don't get it. I'd rather be at Fig Tree or Bread & Porridge.
A Santa Monica Favorite – I've had just about every item on the Cora's menu - and have been very pleased every time. The omelet is outstanding, I dont know where they get there tomatoes but they are extremely good. The rigatoni w/ meat sauce is awesome. Even the oatmeal is great. It is a little expensive, but if I want to eat and save money, I eat at home. I love how small Cora's is - but I would never go on a Sunday, too crowded. Cora's is great early in the morning with the Times crossword puzzle. This is when the regulars and locals are there and it's not crowded - or mid-week lunch it's very open. Anytime I have a friend in from out of town or I want to have a nice romantic lunch with my girlfriend mid-week - this is the place.
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