Ready for Mom Tips & Tricks?!

Get every new post sent straight to your inbox!

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica

December 8, 2013 in I Adore What I Love

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica

December 8, 2013 in I Adore What I Love >/div>
Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

It’s been a while since I wrote my last restaurant review but let me tell you, I’ve been to some pretty ridiculously awesome restos lately.  One of which I’m going to give you all my thoughts on now… let’s just say if you haven’t heard of or been to Summer House Santa Monica yet, what the heck are you waiting for???

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -[one-half-first]

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -[/one-half-first][one-half]

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

[/one-half][one-half-first]Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

[/one-half-first][one-half]When I went? I was there the week after it opened, on Friday night, November 8th for dinner!

Who went? Girls night out with my two best friends, Alyse and Blake.

Favorite part? Ummm, duhhh, the whole vibe of the place! I mean, you literally feel like you’re in Cali even though you’re obviously in Chicago. I think this resto is exactly what Chitown has been missing.  It’s fun, trendy, and on top of it all, the food is insanely delish. Speaking of their food, I think the pictures that I took say it all (don’t you?!) but my favorite thing that we ordered was the spicy calamari which actually tasted more like rock shrimp.  To put it simply, I could have ordered this as my meal and been beyond satisfied!  Yeah, yeah, not the most healthy thing on the menu but seriously perfect in every way.  Did I mention that I typically steer clear of anything on a menu that includes the word spicy?  Anything spicy and I usually don’t mix well but with this, it was so good that I didn’t even care. When you go, it’s the one thing that I would tell you that you HAVE to order… [insert: I might be drooling on my keyboard as I’m typing this].

We actually decided to forgo the standard order-one-app-for-the-table-and-each-get-our-own-entree type of meal and instead, we just got a bunch of apps to share as our dinner.  I don’t think it’s normal to do that there because it’s not like it’s a tapas place but it worked for us.  Some other menu items that we ordered and loved were: the ahi tuna tostados, the hamachi tartare and green apple (another must-try!), and the triple-cooked thick-cut fries. I mean, yumm. At the end of our meal, we saw another table get served this really cool looking dessert.  We weren’t exactly sure what it was but it was just so pretty.  We asked the waitress about it and she told us that it was the house birthday cake!  Then, with a wink, she said, “It’s one of your birthdays, right?!” Naturally, we went with it and all the sudden we were singing the happy birthday song to my friend Blake and were served the same really cool looking bday cake at our table.  It was a little rich for my taste but who can deny bday cake?  So yeah, that was a fun bonus to our night.

Before I continue with the review, I just have to note another bonus about Summer House Santa Monica: they have an open kitchen and you can see everything going on behind the scenes because it’s literally in the scenes.  I am a sucker for an open kitchen. But then again, who isn’t?

Least Favorite Part: Well, I would say the only let-down was the grilled vegetable tacos. They were a last-minute add on to our order and when they came out, we all thought they looked so so good.  But after trying them, none of us were that impressed.  Maybe it was because the wheat tortilla was falling apart and dry? Or maybe it was because the vegetables weren’t well seasoned? Whatever it was, they were my only complaint of the night.  And really, in the scheme of things, it wasn’t even a complaint.  But obviously this is my restaurant review and I’m going to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth!  [Read: just don’t order them when you go!]

Overall, Would I Go Back? Yes yes yes yes yes.  To be honest, as I’m writing this I’m thinking about when I can go back next.  I need to take my husband there and get a real entree!!  While it’s cool to get a reservation during the cold, winter months (only because when you walk in, you really do feel like it’s summer), I have a feeling summer at Summer House Santa Monica will be even more of a scene.  Why you ask?  Because the roof of the main dining room is retractable and just for that reason, I guarantee it’s going to be the place to be during Chicago’s ridiculously fun summer season.  In addition, in my opinion, Lettuce Entertain You restaurants are the best in the biz and I have a feeling Summer House Santa Monica is going to be around for a long time to come. I mean, we were there not even 8 days after opening and it was a well-oiled machine.  From the wait time for our table (minimal), to the excellent service from our waitress (she was really nice and very knowledgeable), to the quick rate in which our food came out after ordering. Everything was great!  Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -[/one-half]





Restaurant Review: Summer House Santa Monica -

Summer House Santa Monica is located in Lincoln Park at 1945 N. Halsted St.
(On Halsted St. just south of Armitage St.)

What do you think? Will you go? Have you been?
What were your favorite entrees??


  • Alyse December 8, 2013 at 7:20 am

    What a great review! My favorite part of the restuarant is the big YES sign that you have photographed above.
    I agree with you, I would definitely go back! When are me, you and Isaiah going?

    • Dana Ivy December 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks Alyse!! I know- loveddd that YES sign so much too!! Let’s seriously plan a date ASAP. Maybe over that first week of winter break? Love ya!

  • My Top 10 Moments of 2013 December 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    […] date nights out on the town at these ridiculously fine establishments; some of my faves included Summer House Santa Monica, Girl and the Goat, Boarding House, and my all time favorite RPM Italian (which I have yet to write […]

  • I Adore What I Blogged: Top Posts of 2013 February 1, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    […] Reviews: Summer House Santa Monica, Girl and the Goat, Piccolo Sogno Due, Little Market Brasserie, Little Goat, and Boarding […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    My Name is Dana Ivy.

    Hey hey! I’m a MOM of two, here to share and I’m so happy you found me!! As a Chicago lifer {currently settled in the North Shore ‘burbs}, self-admitted shopping addict, and foodie, at the core I’m really just a mom {and a wife, gotta give a shout-out to my hubby!} just trying to balance it all! My two crazy toddler boys, Brody {who’s 4} and Levi {who’s 2} are my whole entire world and while being their mom is the BEST thing ever, it ain’t always easy! The chaos is real and because I adore mom life SO MUCH, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you?? I created this space for all the moms out there who are just trying to get by... I want to help make your lives a little easier, one blog post at a time! Join me on my quest to share allll the mom tips, simple style ideas, REALLY easy recipes {if I can do it, you can do it!!}, and our travels. Read More.

    Subscribe & Follow

    Ready for Mom Tips & Tricks?

    Get Every New Post Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!

    Latest Posts


    • EVERYYYYTHING I PURCHASED AT THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE 💁🏻‍♀️ on the blog now!!! 🔗 in bio!!!! You asked for it and while it took me a little longer than I anticipated + this pic above is from last year because I couldn't get my act together to take another 😝, *everything* I actually bought during this year's #NSale is on the blog now!!! Sharing what I got for myself and for my kids!! 🛍🥳
I'm not just showcasing my "picks" - I'm taking a different approach and telling you what I actually spent our hard-earned money on. And a lot goes into that decision! Check out the post now - I hope it was worth the wait!!! 😘
👉🏼 Have you shopped the sale yet?? Tell me what you got in the comments of this post!! ⤵️
    • WEEKEND VIBES 👨‍🚒🔥🍩☕️🥳 I cannot believe we made it to Saturday!!! To say that this past week was a doozy was an understatement {hence the being so absent on Instastories thing - that ends today!!!} 🤩 BUT looking at the positive, I took a bunch of @onepeloton classes 🚴🏻‍♀️, made dinner most nights for the fambam 🥩, and even got a little {slash a lot} of #nsale shopping in 🛍!!!!
Who wants me to show you my #nordstromanniversaysale purchases on the blog??? If you do, let me know below! ⤵️
    • I ATE GLUTEN IN ITALY & WAS TOTALLY FINE!! You guys! By popular demand, on the blog I'm finally sharing the deets on why I ate gluten in Italy and how it made me feel!! Link in bio to read the post 🔗 {You'll also get to see really yummy glutinous foodie pics + @harfster and I being Italian chefs and making our own pasta!!! 😋}
Most of you know that I have Celiac and when my husband and I were in Italy this past April, so many of you wrote me and told me that's it's most likely ok to eat gluten while there. I didn't believe it at first but wellllll, I did it. The pic above?? One sandwich was for my hubby and the other, for me!!! 🥳 STILL FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT. My full story is on the blog!! I hope you'll check it out!!
👉🏼 Have you ever done anything crazy that you never imagined you'd do?? Doesn't have to do with food, but tell me about it below!! ⤵️
    • TIME FOR A DETOX 😳 Umm, I don't know about you but this past holiday weekend was eating central for me!!! On holidays calories don't count right??? Wrong!!! Boy do I wish that was true though! 😭
I woke up today feeling totally blahh and unfortunately, not totally myself. Jumping back to my regular scheduled routine of eating in moderation + spinning on my @onepeloton while #MrLeviTanner naps. Anyone with a #peloton want to follow each other for motivation?? My name on their platform is the same as on insta - @danaivy 👊🏼
I found if I schedule my workouts in my calendar, than I actually do them 🗓  #workouttip This week, I'm planning on hopping on today, tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday. You know I'm totally telling you this to also keep myself accountable... you're cool with that, right??? 😂😂 But I hope this post inspires you too! Let's workout together this week!! YOU IN??
👉🏼 What's your favorite way to detox after enjoying yourself over a long holiday weekend?? Tell me below!! ⤵️
    • SERIOUS QUESTION {kinda 😂}: How does everyone get such cute family pics?? 🇺🇸 Had THE BEST day yesterday on the 4th but came home and realized that not only did we not get a cute family pic, but we just didn't even take a family pic altogether... Like, we completely forgot!!! 😭 Good thing for this random photo that Levi and I took above! 💁🏻‍♀️
I guess that means we were having too much fun?? ❤️💙 Anyways, it's become our tradition to watch our town parade with our same friends every year {more on my stories!} And then we host a BBQ with my brother's fam and always make wayyyyy more food than necessary 🤷🏻‍♀️
👉🏼 How was your holiday celebrating America's bday? Do you have any 4th traditions?? Let me know! ⤵️
    • LITTLE HIPSTER 🤘🏼 This summer, #MrLeviTanner started taking a hip hop class at @get_rootz!!! This is the first class we've taken there and I signed him up without any friends because I wanted him to try a class somewhere new!! 🥰 BEST IDEA EVERRRR. If you don't know what Rootz is, I have a new blog post up all about it + our experience there as a new family!! #linkinbio 🔗
PSA: also sharing a discount code for you to use for fall registration! 🙌🏼 Let's just say this is a must read, especially if you're local!
👉🏼 Please tag your North Shore friends who have kids ages 0-18!!!! 😘 And if your not local, tell me about the kind of kids classes your kids are taking and LOVE ⤵️

    Follow @danaivy