Nestled in the heart of the Village District with its open air patio seating, Matthew's Garden Cafe recently opened at 859 1/2 Swarthmore Avenue and brings a fresh take on a Mediterranean menu in a relaxing atmosphere to Pacific Palisades.
Building off of Mick's Cafe's renovations, owners Zara and Matthew Guivi received ample attention when the chamber of commerce hosted a recent mixer at the cafe.
"We loved what he did with this place," Zara said about Mick Hoiles work in the space. "It was an opportunity for us. We chose this place because we love it."
The two came from Iran in 1979, got married in 1982 and moved to the Pacific Palisades-Malibu area. Zara managed three banks in Pacific Palisades over a 10-year period and has been on the chamber's board of directors for seven years.
With General Manager Adeline Ferrari helping with hiring, the menu and food, Matthew's Garden Cafe accomodates at 61-person seating capacity and even offers spillover outdoor seating along their side driveway to their back parking lot area, if need be. They have 10 employees.
Ferrari has managed several restaurants in Pacific Palisades dating back to 2003.
"It's a special place," she said about the community. "You don't think or feel like you're in L.A."
Zara said from their sweet and savory crepes and waffles, especially their tasty Belgian waffles, no one else has them in Pacific Palisades. They serve breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday while also offering a dinner menu on Friday and Saturday nights, such as their shish kabobs. Breakfast is served all day.
"Everything is made fresh every day," Zara added, saying their daily soups are 99 pecent vegetable-based. "Our portions are really generous."
Matthew noted that nothing on their menu is deep-fried and is cooked in olive oil.
The owners say they are willing to host groups on nights they aren't regularly open and will consider closing down fully or partially for a private party, if the price is right.
"You can host your own breakfast meetings as early as 7 a.m.," Zara said.
They are also offering a dinner pick-up option for those in Palisades for families on the go, to just call it in by 9:30 p.m. and pull into the driveway.
The cafe also offers several varietes of salads, quiches, pastries, desserts, sandwiches and paninis. Those coming for dinner can bring their own wine bottle, free of charge, too.
For more information, visit the cafe's website.