Vardo Café, which opened on Main St. above Rose last month in Santa Monica, now serves a small menu of international meals. The cuisine is vegetarian, but thankfully of the warm and comfortable global variety. Dishes will change regularly to showcase various world cooking styles, with a focus on Middle Eastern, Northern African, and Mediterranean recipes plus “always one or two Indian dishes,” owner Eva Kasrabod tells Grub Street.
“Vardo” are the highly developed traveling wagons used by nomadic Roma. The restaurant’s space, with a few simple but appropriate touches like a lone guitar on a stand, a broad chandelier, and long red curtains, manages to evoke a sense of bejeweled romance itself despite a teensy expanse of about five tables. We tasted one of Vardo’s matar curry dishes and already prefer it to the Indian eats we choose to skip up the street. The new menu joins Vardo’s selection of baked sweets, fruit smoothies, teas, and coffee, with prices all under ten dollars. It is the kind of independent, soulful spot that pricey and often belligerent Main Street can always use more of, not to mention our pockets and palates. 235 Main St. Santa Monica. 310-664-9696.