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The Misfit Bar's Gastro-Pub Fare is the Perfect Fit for Santa Monica

By Paul Rowe

The Misfit Restaurant & Bar in Santa Monica, CA reprises a "back to the bar" ideal of creative comfort food, health-conscious gastro-pub fare, and jaw-dropping handcrafted signature cocktails. The ambiance, music, and bartending all combine to lend this hip hot spot a special character.

Located beachfront on Santa Monica Boulevard, The Misfit sports a 1920s Prohibition vibe, from the curtain behind the bar right down to the old-school marquee adorning its façade.

"Having the opportunity to open The Misfit was any bartender's dream - a beautiful space in an historic building with an incredible team of talented and passionate people," says Chief Mixologist and Spirits Director Kevin Dunn. "Our bar staff is a family and I am so lucky to get to be a part of it."

The Misfit's "Bar Fly Lunch" selection dazzles, featuring a captivating Ahi Burger with sushi grade tuna, carefully ground and seared rare, fresh avocado, and spicy mayo on toast or a bun. The Heirloom Brown Rice Special shines with organic red quinoa, black beans, feta, pistachios, poached egg, and harissa.

The menu boasts many healthy options sourced from Santa Monica's Arizona Avenue farmer's market, including watermelon gazpacho, radicchio salad, sweet corn soup, grilled street corn, and chickpea wraps. The Green Chili Burger comes with strauss grass-fed beef, cheddar cheese, and roasted fresh Anaheim chili peppers, while The Misfit Burger touts grass-fed beef with cheddar, tomato, onion, and mayo. The Iron Skillet Dixie Fried Chicken is an undisputed classic: regulars rave with gusto about the cooked to order jidori organic chicken.

The bar puts just as much effort into its specialty cocktails as it does into its food. "The favorite cocktail to enjoy right now at The Misfit is "The Abbot's Farm," made with fresh melon, fennel, Chareau, an Aloe Vera Liqueur from right here in LA, gin, and tarragon. Summer-time in a glass," says Dunn. "We also feature a rotating seasonal cocktail at Ingo's Tasty Diner," says Dunn. "Ms. Callahan - which is being served for the next few weeks, contains Peach-infused Ford's Gin with lemon, vanilla honey, and mint."

"The Clocktower Manhattan," consisting of rye, carpano vermouth, and misfit house bitters, sparkles on the top of the bar menu, while the "Jumping Jack Flash" rocks the house with buffalo trace, cocchi vermouth, ginger, and mint. "The Dr. Don Ho" provides a surprise of flor de cana, coconut water, lime, falernum, and kombucha. Even the beers on the menu are healthy: "The Kombucha Dog" boasts wild berry ginger and Los Angeles handcrafted organic kombucha, rich in probiotics.

Whether you're in it for the drinks or the grub, revolutionary gastro-pub innovation blends with tried and true tradition to great effect at The Misfit Bar. Be sure to check out their sister restaurant Ingo's Tasty Diner, located at 1213 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica.

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Paul Rowe is a graduate instructor of writing and master's student of Literature at...

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