An iconic dining destination overlooking Santa Monica’s bustling Third Street Promenade, Locanda del Lago specializes in authentic, Northern Italian cuisine from Bellagio on Lake Como.
Lago's menu highlights traditional recipes utilizing the best of Southern California’s seasonal produce from the Santa Monica's Farmers' Market in conjunction with sustainable, local proteins.
Celebrating its 24th anniversary in 2015, the restaurant continues its longstanding tradition of offering diners a warm, welcoming environment, featuring specialties from Milan and the lake region of Lombardy, crafted by Michelin-starred Chef Minuz.
Lago is green certified and was the proud recipient of the Sustainable Quality Award’s Grand Prize in 2015, a top honor from the city recognizing the restaurant’s sustainable and green-practice dedication.
Lago boasts a premium bar with market-driven, artisanal cocktails, a popular locals Happy Hour, and a wine list awarded Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1999.
Lago's farm to table menu highlights traditional recipes from Northern Italy, utilizing the best of Southern California’s seasonal produce from the Santa Monica's Farmers' Market in conjunction with sustainable, local proteins. We’re proud to be partners with some of the finest purveyors in Los Angeles:
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market: on Arizona in front of restaurant Wednesdays and Saturdays
Coleman Farm: lettuce, herbs, kale, basil
JJ Lone Daughter Ranch: avocados, orange, grapefruit, lemon, kumquat
Weiser Farm: potato, melon, carrot, garlic, broccoli, peppers
Tutti Frutti Farm: carrots, melon, heirloom tomato, kale
Jaime Farm: zucchini, cherry tomato, romaine, onion, eggplant
Wong Farm: tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, squash
Santa Barbara Pistachio Co.: pistachios
Fairhill Farm: apples
Tamai Farm: zucchini, strawberries, radish, beet, corn, cauliflower
Sycamore Farm: honey, oranges
Lily’s Eggs: eggs
Niman Ranch: ossobuco, veal, ribeye, filet mignon
Durham Ranch: buffalo, wild boar
Clean Fish: sole, mussels, bass, scallops
We always follow the suggestions of the Seafood Watch by Monterey Bay Aquarium!
We have an amazing staff behind the bar, led by Joseph Matlock, working with Lago since 2007. Joe is a first-level Master Sommelier, mixologist and custom cocktail designer. Joe has a strong belief in using organic, local liquors in combination with organic farmer’s market produce for the best flavor.
Lago also offers a carefully curated wine list of more than 400 wines, with bottles from every major producing region of Italy, including the difficult-to-find Lake Country and stellar verticals of Solaia, Masseto and Ornellaia. Our collection has won Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1999.
No corkage charge, and locals receive a 15% discount off all menu items.
Help us support “Meatless Monday” by STEER-ing clear of all beef and beef by-products while dining at Lago on Mondays.
Happy Night Tuesday...
Not just an hour!
All night Happy Hour at the bar.
Happy Night menu
Half-priced bottled wine from our award-winning wine list.
$20 Pitchers of Farmer’s Market-driven specialty cocktails
Silicon Beach Lunch
Speedy two-course lunch priced at $16 and $19
Monday through Saturday.
Daily from 4:00 – 7:00 pm
(weekend in the bar only)
Special pricing on appetizers and pizzas.
$5 House Wines
$9 Farmer’s Market-driven specialty cocktails
Happy Hour menu
We look forward to working with you to create a tasteful, successful special event, in our warm, inviting restaurant or at the venue of your choice. Consider an intimate dinner for 10, a business dinner for 30, a wedding reception for 60 guests, or a holiday gathering for 100 employees, Locanda del Lago is available to host large or small events for you and your guests.
Sample menus are available and we will be happy to assist you to create a customized menu for any kind of party: cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, luncheons or dinners. Choices are limited to your own imagination, so feel free to get creative and impress your guests with a wide array of Locanda del Lago’s famous, authentic Lake Como cuisine!
Locanda del Lago is proud of an award-winning wine list with over 400 choices, highlighting superior Italian selections, and many California offerings, to complement our cuisine. Please be sure to consult with us to find the best choices for your menu. A full bar is also available.
In addition to in-house banquets, we provide full service catering for groups of 12 – 200. In addition to providing our cuisine, we are able to assist with items such as rentals, bar, lighting and entertainment. We also have an off-site catering liquor license.
Please contact Megan Heritage, by phone at (310) 451-3525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions, a walk-through or a tasting.
Locanda del Lago has special menus for many holidays, including: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year’s Eve/Day!
next Holiday menu
The last Thursday of every month, Lago hosts a communal meal, featuring animal roasts and traditional, rustic Italian dishes. The “Bite of the Beast” includes a 5-course dinner featuring the choice animal, and optional wine pairing.
We feature Wild Boar, Suckling Pig, Venison, Lamb, Halibut, Duck and more.
next Morso menu
Locanda del Lago is dedicated to providing the highest-quality restaurant experience to our customers. Comprised of authentic, Northern Italian recipes prepared and served by courteous, knowledgeable, motivated staff, we are united in our philosophy of welcoming guests to gather, eat, drink and enjoy life as it is done on the lakeshore of Bellagio, Italy.
Lago is family-owned and operated; staff and guests are welcomed and treated as family. Dishes are prepared with authentic Italian products in conjunction with the freshest organic produce and sustainable, all-natural meats, sourced locally when possible.
Monday – Thursday:
11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday:
11:30 am – 11:00 pm
10:30 am – 10:00 pm
231 Arizona Avenue
Santa Monica, CA — 90401
Self parking available in the public structures. The closest structure to us is #4 between Arizona and Wilshire on 2nd Street.
Available from 6:00 pm nightly in front of the restaurant.
Born in Milan, West Hooker-Poletti spent much of his youth in Lombardy’s well-known capital city and later in Bellagio, the idyllic village in northern Italy known as “the pearl of Lake Como.”
Moving to the United States at age 18, intending to establish his career in the hotel industry, Hooker-Poletti enrolled at Cornell University’s renowned School of Hotel Administration, graduating with top honors.
After earning his degree, he became assistant food and beverage director at the Mayfair Regent Hotel in New York. At the time, the hotel housed the world-famous Le Cirque restaurant and its legendary owner Sirio Maccioni, who imparted many wise business pointers to the young manager.
Upon returning to California, a strong entrepreneurial spirit moved Hooker-Poletti to conceive of his own dining establishment, and in 1991 the restaurateur opened Locanda del Lago in Santa Monica. “Lago truly started as a window into my past,” he notes. “It focuses on the cuisine I grew up with and the flavors I know best.”
West leads the restaurant along with his wife, Karin Fumagalli, and their 2 children. The family can often be found dining on the patio and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Stop by and say hi!
If the chef at Locanda del Lago is the restaurant's soul, then General Manager Megan Heritage is its heart. Respected, highly regarded, and a favorite of her staff and Lago's patrons, Megan's superb operation of the restaurant is a key reason for its popularity and success.
Megan, who has worked at Lago since 1996, began as a server then promoted to lead server/trainer, assistant manager, and eventually General Manager. Most notably, Megan was concurrently studying Electrical Engineering at California State University, Long Beach, as a full time student, where she graduated with honors. As a grad, Megan received many offers to work as an engineer, but her passion for the restaurant industry prevailed. She accepted the position of General Manager of Locanda del Lago and continues to grow and improve all aspects of the restaurant. In 2006, Megan enabled expansion of the company by opening Caffé Bellagio and running both locations simultaneously.
Megan says, "My motivation stems from a constant love for, dedication to and passion for the restaurant business, and specifically to Locanda del Lago and Caffé Bellagio where I am able to grow along with the restaurant. The pride of knowing I have created something special and that my employees feel better and stronger having worked for me is the greatest gift. Whether it is by educating, motivating or coaching my team, they always feel that our main goal is to further ourselves in knowledge and to enhance Lago or Caffé Bellagio as a special place to be."
Megan currently works very closely with the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Monica Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Downtown Santa Monica in order to support the community as well as aide Santa Monica to become an internationally recognized destination. She currently is the co-chair of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s committee PeBL, Professionals emerging as Business Leaders and sits on the Hospitality Committee. She was also the implementer and ambassador of Lago’s green certification and an integral part of Lago winning the Grand Prize at the 2015 Sustainable Quality Awards.
Chef Gianfranco Minuz’s acclaimed career includes earning Michelin stars at kitchens in Italy and the United States. At Locanda del Lago, he creates a true taste of Northern of Northern Italy’s Lake Country cuisine, marrying Italian ingredients with Santa Monica’s fresh Farmer’s Market produce.
A longtime ambassador of authentic Italian cuisine, Minuz has helmed the kitchens of esteem restaurants, including Trattoria Tre Venzie in Pasadena, and his own restaurant, Ca’Masieri in Trissino, Italy. Each was recognized by the Michelin Guide with a coveted star.
Originally from Friuli-Venizia Giula in Northeast Italy, he trained in the region’s top restaurants, including Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan when it was awarded three Michelin Stars. My home town and his region.
Chef Minuz is very committed to maintaining and developing Lago’s Lake Country menu, and has a passion for sourcing local ingredients from local farms and markets.
For a quick bite of Northern Italy, stop by Caffé Bellagio... a panini & gelato coffee house in the heart of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Villa Poletti is a magnificent home, owned by the Hooker Poletti family, located in Bellagio, Italy with breathtaking views of Lake Como.
The villa towers over the small hamlet of San Giovanni with its quaint harbor, boat landing, pebble beaches, historical church, restaurant, grocer and a small post office.
The Villa is available for guest stays. The Villa also includes the services of a gourmet Italian chef upon request.
WINNER – Santa Monica Daily Press 2014
• Most Loved Business Utilizing Locally Sourced Ingredients
• Most Loved Downtown Santa Monica Business
•Most Loved Happy Hour (runner up)
FINALIST – Santa Monica Daily Press 2015
• Most Loved Business Utilizing Locally Sourced Ingredients
• Most Loved Happy Hour
• Most Loved Downtown Santa Monica Business
Downtown Santa Monica Eclipse Award 2013-2014
Santa Monica Jaycees
Distinguished Service Award 2013
Santa Monica Chamber Chairman Award 1999
Locanda del Lago strongly believes in giving back to the community. We have given time and resources to many local organizations such as:
Upward Bound House
SM Boys and Girls Club
Heal the Bay
American Cancer Society Relay for Life
Connections for Children
Meals on Wheels
American Red Cross
Westside Food & Hunger Coalition
Please contact the restaurant for purchase: call (310) 451-3525 or email email@example.com
For the perfect present, consider giving a Locanda del Lago gift card for an authentic Northern Italian meal prepared by a Michelin-starred chef! It will be one of the best tasting gifts you can give anyone!
4 spout $60, 6 spout $90, 8 spout $120