The axe is starting to fall on Santa Monica Place's lackluster Dining Deck, just a little more than fourteen months since it debuted among criminally exaggerated promises to parallel San Francisco's Ferry Building. Eater reports that Xino is preparing to close in two weeks, citing plodding business during the weekdays, and today the restaurant confirmed it. This is a particularly bad omen for the mall's menagerie of restaurants, especially seeing as Xino, from chef Chris Yeo, who had a brief brush with popularity during the glory days of his Straights Cafe in San Fran, was the only foreign presence Jonathan Gold seemed to accept while panning the revamped mall.
We once had high hopes for the Dining Deck, full of potential for locals to enjoy sea views while browsing a market of fresh goods and gourmet products, and meet friends for a glass of wine in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it turned out much more like tourist-bait that we needed about as much as the Kitson's downstairs.
Although we've had some cool dishes at Zengo and pricey Sonoma Wine Bar seems to steadily pack in the singles, the end result has failed to resonate with natives (though we're sorry we missed this bro getting tazed). The imported restaurants feel more like manufactured theme-park attractions and the market is sadly, nothing we would ever depend on for our own kitchen needs (especially since the best farmers market sets up shop within spitting distance), though Spice Station is a promising addition.
What do you think? Is Xino's passing just the start of Santa Monica Place cleaning house? Have any suggestions for how to turn this place around? Let us know in our comments!