Gorgeous Southeast Asian Restaurant Cobi’s Surprise Opens in Santa Monica


The former Dhaba, owned by Manhar and Margaret Patel for an incredible fifty years, reopened as an updated Southeast Asian street food restaurant on October 7 along Main Street Santa Monica, called Cobi’s. Cobi Marsh of Cobi’s Curries and Lance Mueller, previously with EP and LP and Eveleigh direct the show. The older Patels had an impressive run serving South Asian dishes like tandoori chicken tikka and many Indian vegetable dishes, but have closed temporarily due to the pandemic. Now there’s a fully updated and downright impressive decor with mismatched furniture, charming floral wallpaper, and antique grandma-style plates.

Mueller, who has Polynesian roots and is originally from New Zealand and Australia, brings the Southeast Asian mentality he helped implement at EP and LP (which has since turned to a menu more American) and had done at Cobi’s Curries on West Third Street (which has since closed). Cobi’s at Dhaba is a rebirth for the popular Southeast Asian restaurant, which had gained traction before the pandemic, with a menu inspired by Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as a few nods to the old space life as Dhaba.

Highlights include dry aged grilled branzino with yellow curry and mint, prime rib with chili and tamarind vinaigrette, jungle curry, butter chicken and gado gado. A raw sea bass offers kanpachi with lime, green chili and coconut vinaigrette while the red tuna is sprinkled with citrus with shrimp chips. Nibble on grilled shrimp with a ginger and yellow bean sauce or a green papaya salad before enjoying bigger dishes like the Devil’s Chicken Curry, which contains legitimate spices from Ghost Pepper Vinegar. A grilled gay yang chicken will feel straight out of a Thai street cart. There’s also a fun omakase for $ 55 per person that lets the kitchen decide what you eat that night. And there’s a $ 50 food and wine pairing to go with that. For dessert, there’s a Thai tea pudding with boba pearls, a vanilla salted caramel sundae, and crushed ice to help finish off the meal.

The wine situation sticks to the natural and funky outlook on the go, with a Scholium Project skin contact white sauvingnon called La Severita di Bruto. Pét nat rosé is a Languedoc 2020 that mixes Grenache and Mourvèdre while a Schaller Chablis should go well with spicy and acidic street food dishes. Most bottles range from $ 55 to $ 80, making this a solid place for natural wine lovers. And anyone who has take out wine will get a 40% discount off the menu price, which is convenient for take out orders.

The indoor-outdoor space has 78 seats with a lush covered patio that will make you feel like you are in someone’s backyard. Inside, it’s more of the same – a bright, green, and modern shabby charm that befits this part of Main Street Santa Monica. Cobi’s is open Sunday to Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday to Sunday until 11 p.m. Book your tables here on Resy.

Kanpachi raw at Cobi.
Katrina Frédérick Studios

Butter chicken at Cobi's.

Butter chicken at Cobi’s.
Katrina Frédérick Studios

Pork and shiitake mushrooms with crunchy chili at Cobi's.

Pork and shiitake mushrooms with crunchy chili at Cobi’s.
Katrina Frédérick Studios

Grilled fish garnished with fresh herbs on a colorful shabby chic plate.

Branzino dry aged at Cobi.
Katrina Frédérick Studios

Dining room at Cobi's in Santa Monica with mismatched wooden chairs, colorful pink floral wallpaper and hanging plant.

Dining room at Cobi’s in Santa Monica.
Katrina Frédérick Studios

Outdoor patio with hanging lamps, lush greenery in the back and backyard style tables.

Outdoor patio at Cobi’s.
Katrina Frédérick Studios

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