Cadet

As Good as It Cadets

Cocktails and Wood-Grilled Meats in Santa Monica

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You feel that?

That blustery air? That autumnal nip? That pressing need for a roaring fire?

No?

Well, there’s this beautiful fire over here in a glass-covered hearth. Somebody may as well throw some succulent pork on it.

There.

Now you feel a pressing need for that roaring fire...

Find your light at Cadet, a new restaurant with a revelatory star turn by a blazing flame, opening Saturday in Santa Monica from Counter cofounder and Freddy Smalls owner Jeff Weinstein. (Here’s the slideshow.)

It feels like it’s got an old French bistro’s soul, but it’s dressed up in red bricks, pink elephant wallpaper and old Slim Harpo blues videos. And that glassed-in grill over a raging inferno of white oak and hickory logs... that’s hard to miss.

To begin: you’ll catch up with neighborhooders over rye-based French Negronis at the black marble bar. Then you’re booth-bound for wood-fired dishes from ex–Hart & Hunter chef Kris Tominaga. Like smoked-mussel-and-caviar tartine or pork three ways. (See the menu here.)

Whatever you order, the whole table gets accessorized with olives, pickles, flatbreads and sauces, and then everybody just goes for it. Like Korean BBQ. But French and rustic.

So nothing like Korean BBQ.

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