No Longer Hidden

Josiah Citrin unveils a new low-key menu near the beach

Josiah Citrin isn't exactly slumming it at Santa Monica's new Caché restaurant, but his unfussy menu is a nice change of pace for the chef, who just celebrated 10 years at Mélisse. He and chef de cuisine Nyesha Arrington have finally made the former Hidden space worth finding.

Set back from the street, Caché is large and varied: Grab a bite at the bar, have a full dinner at linen-topped tables or sip fresh fruit cocktails–they're only $7 during the daily happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.)–on the tree-lined patio.

Citrin takes the same French-Californian approach to the menu here as he does at his other restaurants. You'll find mason jars filled with creamy foie gras terrine ($12) and duck confit ($9), and entrees like crispy loup de mer ($29). But the scaled-back dishes are the most surprising. It's worth going just for the chewy, sweet flatbreads topped with paper-thin zucchini slices, feta and lemon zest ($11) or salty duck sausage and sharp Cantal cheese ($14).

Other snacks include addictive thick-cut fries with parsley and pepper ($6) and wood-fired calamari with chorizo and Meyer lemon confit ($13). There's even a riff on the Twinkie for dessert–coconut cream piped into a moist, oblong butter-rum cake ($10).

Caché Restaurant & Lounge, 3110 Main St., Santa Monica; 310-399-4800 or cacherestaurant.com