Restaurants come and go in this vast metropolis of Los Angeles. However, there are those which endure the test of time. Renee’s Courtyard Cafe has been around for 30 years, serving locals in Santa Monica, as well as tourist.
Renee Fishman, originally from New York, started out with what is referred to “the doll house,” their main dining room. Soon after, various businesses left over the years, the cafe expanded to what is now 3 cocktail lounges, a main courtyard where patrons enjoy the outdoors, and several dining areas.
I asked Renee how she got the name “Doll Room.”
“My customers would give me various dolls over the years, not to mention that I collect antiques and figurines, so we named the main dining area “the doll room” stated Renee.
When one first walks into the court yard, you get the feeling of old fashion Americana. It’s definitely a place to party and have a great time. Jay Wijewickoma, the chef for Renee’s is from Sri-lanka, India and has headed the kitchen for 9 years. Chef Jay who graduated from Hilton Hotel’s Culinary School, adds a colorful selection to the items on the menu. His selection of dishes are very tasty.
The salad for instance is a Kale salad, mixed with all sorts of goodies. The Pistachio tomato bisque soup, a popular item on the menu was also delicious. My guest, Tom Hallick, ordered the Black Angus hamburger as his main entree and I ordered Rather Large Raviolis. Ah, the ravioli, are stuffed with mushrooms, shallots in a white wine sauce.
A real treat indeed. Renee’s has a selective menu, yet an intriguing one. Chef Jay even prepares Fig pizza, Pesto Margarita Pizza, and Salmon On Linguine, atop organic pasta and fresh organic vegetables.
This is what I ordered and it hit the spot. Whether it’s a large or small group, Renee’s caters for all occasions. On Sundays, there’s jazz groups which add to the dining experience.
So, do yourselves a favor and party and dine in one of Santa Monica’s most popular eateries and bars, particularly Renee’s Courtyard Cafe. It is located at 522 WilshireBlvd. and is open 7 days a week. For more information call  451-9341.