Michael’s debuted in Santa Monica in 1979. From the beginning, we have dedicated ourselves to offering our guests the finest food and wine, presented with casual yet impeccable service in rooms filled with modern art treasures. (A decade later, Michael’s opened a second location, in midtown Manhattan.)
An American restaurant, Michael’s is renowned for developing a classic contemporary cuisine that constantly evolves with new ideas and ingredients. Wine aficionados and beginners alike will find a world of outstanding, intriguing selections on our award-winning wine list, which includes more than eight hundred labels from California, France, Italy, and other wine-growing regions—as well as the latest vintages from proprietor Michael McCarty’s own Malibu Vineyard.
Our beautiful dining room and romantic outdoor garden patio are filled with works by some of today’s greatest contemporary artists, including David Hockney, Robert Graham, Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, and Kim McCarty. Our three private rooms on the restaurant’s second floor can accommodate 6 to 40 guests, ideal for business dinners and other private social events.
Michael McCarty opened Michael's Santa Monica in 1979, at the age of 25. An instant success, it remains one of the most acclaimed and popular restaurants in the United States, as has the New York branch of Michael's which opened in midtown Manhattan in 1989.
From the beginning, Michael and his team have dedicated themselves to offering their guests the finest food and wine, presented with casual yet impeccable service in rooms—and, at Santa Monica, a legendary garden patio—filled with modern art treasures.
An American restaurant, Michael's is renowned for developing a classic contemporary cuisine that constantly evolves with new ideas and ingredients. Wine aficionados and beginners alike will find a world of outstanding, intriguing selections on the award-winning wine list, which includes more than eight hundred labels from California, France, Italy, and other wine-growing regions—as well as the latest vintages from The Malibu Vineyard, McCarty’s own winery featuring grapes grown on the hillsides surrounding his Pacific-view Malibu home.
Michael was raised in Briarcliff Manor, New York and Rockford, Illinois. His parents' frequent parties and array of great friends gave him an early appreciation for stylish hospitality and good American food. He attended the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and lived in Rennes, France for a year as part of the Andover-Exeter School Year Abroad program, during which he experienced for the first time the artistry, quality, and joie de vivre of French dining.
He went on to study cooking, wines, and hotel and restaurant management in Paris, earning diplomas from the Ecole Hoteliére de Paris, the Cordon Bleu, and the Academy du Vin. In 1974, he returned to the United States, attended Cornell's Summer Hotel Program, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in the Business and Art of Gastronomy from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Michael is married to the painter Kim McCarty, and they have two grown children, daughter Clancy and son Chas. They split their time between Malibu, California, where they live in a hillside home surrounded by The Malibu Vineyards; and an apartment high above Michael's New York.
Devoted followers and patrons of the arts, the McCartys are deeply involved in organizations including the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Music Center/Disney Hall/Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County; and the Armory Art Exhibition, New York.