Santa Monica packs a lot into a mile of Main St. - a dog dentist, three different electric bike stores, a shop that exclusively sells fedoras, and some 40-odd restaurants and bars. Whether any of those spots are particularly necessary probably depends on how often you’re in the market for a new hat, but none are what we’d consider to be a true neighborhood essential. Apparently, the people behind Little Prince noticed - because that’s exactly what they deliver.

We’re not talking about the kind of place you take someone to the second they land at LAX, or one that requires you to decide between making a car payment or ordering dessert. We’re talking about a decent, dependable Tuesday night restaurant, a comfortable spot where you can sit for a while and enjoy some good food, a glass of wine, and a knowing glance or two with the waitstaff. Little Prince is that spot.

On the “good food” front, their garganelli pasta is perfectly al dente, and with the addition of merguez sausage, Aleppo peppers, and Castelvetrano olives, it’s sweet, salty, and spicy at the same time. The lamb shoulder is also highly worth your time. It’s crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and rubbed with Szechuan peppers that give it a really nice heat (which is balanced out by the accompanying cucumber yoghurt). In fact, nothing you eat at Little Prince will disappoint you - the beet and burrata toast is vinegary, earthy, and creamy, and the octopus is cooked to crunchy-but-moist, light-and-airy pulpo perfection.

Little Prince review image

The only real knock is that Little Prince will seem awfully familiar if you’ve been to an LA restaurant at any point since 2015. The industrial-chic interior features mismatched lamp shades, exposed wood beams and pipes, subway tiles, and so much foliage that you feel like you might have just been Honey, I Shrunk The Kids-ed into a terrarium. You’ll immediately notice the communal table full of tech workers getting rowdy on natural wine and mezcal cocktails, and feign surprise when your server tells you that everything is served family-style, then recommends you order two or three small plates per person. And the menu you’re ordering from, while full of solid, straightforward food, is never very adventurous.

That’s not to say Little Prince isn’t good, or isn’t a place where you’ll find yourself often (especially if you live in Santa Monica) - it’s just not very surprising. But surprises aren’t something you want, or even need, in a neighborhood restaurant. You just want it to be good. You’re not exactly surprised when you see a French bulldog with a Gucci bandana walking out of a dog dentist - but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make you smile.

Food Rundown

Beet & Burrata Toast

Hiding beets under burrata is a good way to pretend you’re still being healthy. This thick-cut bread comes with pureed beet, burrata, marinated plums, and pistachios. It’s a good balance of earthy, creamy, salty, and sweet.

Little Prince review image

Marinated Peppers

Incredibly simple, but one of our favorite things here - soft, marinated peppers, crunchy croutons, and whipped labneh underneath.

Little Prince review image

Garganelli Pasta

Garganelli is without a doubt the most underappreciated pasta shape. It’s like if you took a shell, and wrapped it up like an open-ended burrito. Little Prince’s garganelli has the added bonus of being sausage-y and great.

Little Prince review image

Octopus With Black Garlic

Fun fact about black garlic: It starts out as regular garlic, and is heated up over the course of a few weeks until it’s black and molasses-y. It complements the crunchy octopus very well here.

Little Prince review image

Crispy Lamb Shoulder

The most substantial non-steak option here, and our favorite main. You’re never going to be mad about having a huge lamb shoulder, especially when it’s rubbed with Szechuan peppers and perfectly crispy.

Little Prince review image

Smoked Salmon Hash

The best thing on the brunch menu, and maybe at the restaurant - this smoked salmon tastes like it belongs in sashimi at a high-end sushi spot. It comes with seaweed Hollandaise and crispy potatoes, and you should order it.

Little Prince review image

Featured in

Where To Have Brunch On The Westside guide image
Where To Have Brunch On The Westside

Where to have brunch in Venice, Santa Monica, and beyond.

The Kind-Of-Healthy Brunch Guide guide image
The Kind-Of-Healthy Brunch Guide

Healthy brunch is hard. But not impossible.

The Santa Monica Dinner Guide guide image
The Santa Monica Dinner Guide

Don’t get overwhelmed by all the farm-to-table restaurants. Eat dinner at one of these Santa Monica greats.

The Ride-Along Report: First Takes From Last Night’s Dinner guide image
The Ride-Along Report: First Takes From Last Night’s Dinner

Our first thoughts on LA’s newest restaurants.

Suggested Reading

Plan Check Santa Monica review image
Plan Check Santa Monica

The Santa Monica location of Plan Check is an excellent first date spot with great burgers and lots of seafood.

Tumbi  review image

Tumbi is a modern Indian restaurant right off The Promenade in Santa Monica and an unexpected bright spot in a rather bleak area for good food.

Lula Cocina Mexicana review image
Lula Cocina Mexicana

Lula Cocina Mexicana is good-time cantina in Santa Monica with solid Mexican food and great margaritas.

Pasjoli review image

Pasjoli is an upscale French restaurant in Santa Monica where being an adult feels euphoric.