A great Santa Monica lunch place … if you aren’t in preschool

There is this restaurant next to my mom’s office called Tiato. I have been wanting to go there for many months.  It is hard to go because they only serve breakfast and lunch and are only open during the week.  And at lunchtime they are very, very busy.  But last week my school had half days every day (they let out noon each day).  So my dad dropped me off with my mom last Wednesday so I could go to  Tiato and do this review for you.  

tiato outside1

As we were walking there (it is only two blocks away from my mom ‘s office) I remembered a story that my mom and dad have told me.  Tiato is right next to a preschool that I went to when I was three.  Since I was walking past this school the story popped back into my mind.  I had only been in school for a short while and was still kind of nervous.  I was in the classroom, and since I almost always like people to arrive exactly on time I bet I was feeling that way then too.  Anyway, my dad wasn’t there exactly at pick up and I was upset that he was late.  Remember, I was only three.  So I thought “well I know where Dad parks, so I can go there myself.”  I walked right out of the classroom and no one stopped me.  Then I walked right out of the front door which was open wide.  And then I walked across a path, across a parking lot, and went down a flight of stairs into a really busy underground parking garage that was part of a bunch of offices.  I was in the parking garage on the ground with nobody in sight except cars flying by.  A few minutes later, another mom who had come to pick up her child found me and brought me back to the school.  The lady who runs the school is a madman, or more like a madwoman, and she blamed me !!! for leaving the school and going into the parking lot.  I was only three, for goodness sake, I didn’t know any better.  My parents were really, really upset that she didn’t take any responsibility because she was supposed to make sure I was safe at school.

After walking past this place and talking about that again we reached Tiato and I put my thoughts away for something more positive: food.

tiato outside2

This restaurant has plenty of great places to sit and a beautiful atmosphere. There is a ginormous outside area, a part that is closed in for shade and a part exposed to the sun.  In the inside there are tables, booths, and a bar with a TV above it against the wall.  We chose a booth, because my mom wasn’t too appreciative of me watching TV during her special time with me.


If you order at the counter in the back you will also see that there is a market there where they sell all sorts of gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian items.  They also sell a lot of products that I have reviewed before.  There is a good selection even if you are just looking for a snack to go with your tea during the day. 

buddha roll2

We ordered the Buddha Rolls to start.  I took half and my mom got the other. The rolls were really delicious and the flavor inside which was a little bit crunchy went well with the dipping sauce they had.  These rolls are gluten free and vegetarian and can be made vegan. 

tofu eggplant

My main course was the delicious Tiato eggplant tofu dish.  It had brown rice, some kale cabbage salad which is a lot like coleslaw and about fifteen pieces of eggplant and tofu.  It was easily three meals.  The plate was humongous.  But once again, my eating skills took control.  I polished off the plate.  The eggplant was soft but the edges had a nice crunch.  And the tofu was was really juicy and went well with the rice.  This is a great Thai dish. I recommend it to anyone who loves any of the things I mentioned: rice, tofu, and especially eggplant.

I recommend this restaurant … but skip the preschool!


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1 Comment

  • Pamela J Kingsley
    February 22, 2017 11:00 am

    Just when I thought maybe that preschool madwoman had permanently traumatized you — you were able to switch gears and not loose one bit of your appetite! Good boy! Lots of resilience!
    Looks like another terrific place and my mouth started watering when I saw the Buddha rolls –hm-m-m.
    You make me want to take a food tour of the LA area!!

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