ABOUT MICHAEL’S SANTA MONICA

Michael McCarty, Owner/Proprietor

Michael McCarty, Owner/Proprietor

In 1979, at the age of 25, Michael McCarty founded Michael’s Santa Monica, a restaurant credited as an early pioneer of California cuisine with its market-driven plates that utilize local produce and hyper-seasonal ingredients. Throughout the years, Michael has spearheaded the restaurant’s evolution, bringing in a veritable who’s who of culinary talent that includes current chef Brian Bornemann, as well as opening chef Jonathan Waxman, Nancy Silverton, Brooke Williamson, Sang Yoon, Mark Peel, Miles Thompson among others; and along the way, he authored Welcome to Michael’s: Great Food, Great People, Great Party!, which received a 2008 James Beard Foundation Cookbook award nomination in the entertaining category. Michael continues to walk the floor at Michael’s Santa Monica when he’s not splitting his time in New York, where he operates a different iteration of Michael’s in midtown Manhattan. Both restaurants feature modern art treasures, as curated by McCarty and his wife (an artist herself) Kim, and boast award-winning wine lists, which include the latest vintages from McCarty's own The Malibu Vineyard.

Brian Bornemann, Executive Chef

Brian Bornemann, Executive Chef

Raised amongst fruit trees and his grandfather’s gardening, Chef Brian Bornemann could not help but develop an appreciation for fresh produce at a young age. While studying economics at UCLA, an after-school kitchen job inspired Brian to visit Tuscany, which then led to a year-long stint of cooking at an osteria in Siena. Upon graduating, Bornemann returned to Italy, this time just outside of Milan, to further hone his skills in the technique of handmade pasta. After moving back to the United States, Bornemann assumed his post at Potager in Denver under Teri Ripeto – who instilled in him the importance of honoring all ingredients, as well as the utmost respect for the relationships with farmers and purveyors – before ultimately returning to Los Angeles.

Bornemann then further developed his craft under Chef Casey Lane for a collective five years, from overseeing the menu at The Tasting Kitchen and reviving Casa Apicii in New York’s Greenwich Village, to opening the critically acclaimed Viale dei Romani in the La Peer Hotel – a fine-dining, seafood-driven, Italian restaurant, which earned a Forbes Four Star and was deemed “One of The Biggest Restaurant Openings of 2018” nationally by Food & Wine Magazine. Venturing out on his own, Brian began consulting at Employees Only Los Angeles and, most recently, joined the team at Michael’s Santa Monica to helm the kitchen at the 40-year old institution. Bornemann's menu at Michael’s highlights the best of the ingredients and techniques he’s collected – exploring the history of coastal Mediterranean cuisine through a California lens and bridging the freshest Japanese fish and inspiration from Baja California – while still holding true to old world techniques in handmade pasta and butchery.