Hi there -- in case you haven't heard, this just came out from Chicago Magazine:
You may have heard by now, but allow us to verify: After two meteoric years of business, Schwa (1466 N. Ashland Ave.; 773-252-1466) has closed. Aaron McKay, the sad-sounding guy who answered the phone when we called, hemmed and hawed before saying that Schwa was closing “indefinitely.” Chef-owner Michael Carlson’s cell phone has a perpetual busy signal.
For the record: Schwa opened in August 2005 and served its last meal on October 5th, a private blowout for several of the world-class chefs in town for Charlie Trotter’s 20th anniversary dinner on Sunday night. (Trotter took the chefs to Schwa, unaware that it would be Schwa’s final night, says Trotter’s spokesperson, Katy Burstein.) In between, Carlson was named one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs, and his tiny, one-of-a-kind restaurant earned three stars in Chicago magazine—all without reservations, a liquor license, or waiters. We will miss the place, and hope that Schwa lives to serve another prosciutto consommé.
My sister and I are taking my parents to Santa Monica (Shutters) for their 40th annivesary. We're from Chicago - so armed with Zagat's and this site, I just picked the above restaurants for two nice dinners and one casual dinner. I'd love any feedback/concerns/recommendations from this wonderful board - thank you! Also, any interesting recommendations for can't miss Santa Monica treasures?