Saturday, June 20, 2015


Ashland Hill
2807 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tel: 310.392.3300
$$ ($15-$30)
Cuisine: American, Breakfast/Brunch
Sun, 06/07/2015, 11:00am walk-in
   (3 Piglets)

Ashland Hill is a fairly new beer and wine garden that recently opened its doors on Ashland and Main street in Santa Monica, CA. Chef Brad Miller, who is the prodigy behind Ox and Son (check out my review at ), brings food and craft beers in a casual yet trendy atmosphere. There is a bar upon entering where you can sip the night away or if you much prefer, a very cool patio in the back. A simple menu formulated on a chalkboard is designed around seasonal ingredients and is Californian.

The patio
After ordering inside, take this way to the patio...

The restaurant is pretty darn busy during weekend brunch. Luckily, we arrived when it opened and by the time we left, the place was packed. The seating arrangement is to first order at the cashier, receive a number, and seat yourself. There isn't much service in that regards, which I think is smart for chef Miller. If you don't have exact change in cash, don't expect to receive your coins in return (they don't provide it and will round up your total bill). As for the food...well, it definitely could use some improvement in that department. 

Water! Get it yourself. 
ASHLAND HILL BENEDICT ($13.00): Poached eggs, avocado, roasted tomato and garlic smoked paprika hollandaise, roasted potatoes. So my idea of a perfect egg benedict is for it to be cooked perfectly, where you break the yolk and it oozes out yummy goodness to coat whatever accompaniment you're eating. That's what I thought was gonna happen....but it didn't. The yolk was overcooked and there was zero ooze whatsoever. Maybe they hoped the hollandaise sauce would cover up the overcooked eggs. The potatoes were on the soggy end. I was quite disappointed by this dish overall, but in terms of flavor, I could see it trying to be cohesive (but it was hard to look past the overcooked meal). 
MAIN ST. HASH ($13.00): 2 eggs, lamb and pork potato hash, 8 hour tomato sauce, grilled ciabatta chimichurri. Ah, doesn't this sound delicious? I wanted some meat on this dish but the meat was not present at all.  The toast we received was absolutely puny! I was done in two bites (and I tend to take small bites to savor the food). The chimichurri was slighty too acidic. A bit disappointing. On the positive, the eggs were cooked well....but that was about it. 
MY FAVORITE DISH. NIMAN RANCH PORK BELLY TACOS ($16.00): Corn tortillas, limes, pickled onion, guajillo chili sauce, cabbage, sambal sour cream. The pork belly was good. The sauce (which is similar to a mole) did not have an extraordinary depth in flavor. The cabbage salad was nice and refreshing. The sour cream had a good kick. I didn't love this dish but it was the best out of the three that we had. 
The taco I made...
Overall, I appreciate the casual concept of Ashland Hill that chef Brad Miller envisioned. I was simply quite disappointed with the food that was delivered. Maybe the cooks had a bad day, but I feel the key to success is consistency. The eggs benedict was ill-cooked, the main st. hash missed on delivering substantial ingredients, and the pork belly tacos failed to deliver on deep flavors that I was hoping. I like the ambiance, but I just need something a bit more to make this place a winner. Word of advice: Pay by credit card unless you don't mind paying more for the food you ordered. 

Notable dishes: Niman Ranch Pork Belly Tacos

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