Sometimes life gives you troubles. Sometimes you gather your closest girlfriends and treat yourselves to lunch at Ivy at the Shore. Well, for accuracy, it was a slightly jet-lagged but ever generous Miss A who picked up the tab on this one. Thanks lovely!

There is so much to love about this place. From the champagne on arrival and cookies on departure to the perfect execution of the most perfect pale pink walls. This is happiness for the eyes and happiness on the plate.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Well-executed nautical decor. Add in a sprinkling of florals and this is a very tricky thing to get right. Done nicely it brightens a space like little else can. Done wrong and it’s a one way ticket to depression city.

Here, it’s light and fun and feels just right. I think the cane makes a big difference, somewhat grounding to the look don’t you think?

Roses. They are everywhere and they are perfect. You can’t help feeling happy with this many roses placed on every available surface. Just wait until you visit the bathrooms!!


Do as the locals do and sit on the terrace. Here you are across the road from the beach and can enjoy the sunshine, shielded somewhat by the most glorious of bright pink bougainvillea vines.

I suppose we should discuss the food? I decided to try an American classic, the famous Ivy crab cakes. The crab meat was deliciously sweet and the cakes golden and just the right amount of crunchy on the outside. Here is an entree serving (look how big it is!) with some added grilled veggies.


Miss E went for the mussels. She is still talking about the house-made whole-wheat bread.

Archer decided to continue on her mission to sample as much mexican as possible and so opted for the daily special, the chicken enchilada. It did not disappoint.


The servers, in their beautiful pale pink button downs, are professional, attentive and kind.

Ask for some water and you’ll get the most delicious iced lemon water you’ve ever had.

Casually discuss with your friends that you would love a tiny bite of each of their famous desserts and should your delightful server hear you, they may grant you this exact wish. We were lucky enough for them to deliver a tasting plate of their key lime pie, cookies, red-velvet cake and ice-cream, complimentary, with a giant firework-type-sparkler in the middle for good measure.


This is a Santa Monica institution and with good reason. If you’re in LA, do yourself a favour and take your happiest friends and enjoy a few hours in this land of beautiful style and delicious food.

Trip Notes:

  • Ivy at the Shore is located at 1535 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA.
  • Bookings can be made on OpenTable. Do request a terrace table!
  • Again, as our hero Cher Horowitz says, ‘everywhere you go has valet.’ I think the un-edited take must have been, ‘there is nowhere to park, but everywhere you go has valet’. The upside of this is that you don’t have to factor in time to find a park (let’s face it, we’ve never actually done that before in our lives) and they will validate your ticket for you so it’s perfectly reasonable.
  • With the complimentary champagne on arrival, and a generous on the house dessert selection from our lovely server, our beautiful lunch for 4 was only US$90. A steal!
  • I think this space is nicest in the afternoon light, so my pick is to go for lunch!

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