BABALU BAKERY & RESTAURANT… “A Montana Avenue Locals’ Favorite!”

We stopped for lunch at a corner restaurant in Santa Monica called Babalu. Our first impression was a good one. The establishment’s exterior motif displayed a Caribbean appeal with a Cuban flair. Bamboo and wooden blinds enhance the island feel, while inside the ambiance is continued. If you close your eyes for a moment once seated, you might almost believe that you aren’t on the mainland anymore…but on a tropical island with the wind blowing past you and bongo drums on hand to match the rhythm of the island atmosphere around you…

Bamboo ceilings, ceiling fans, tropical hues and an upbeat and eclectic decor inside the restaurant keep the carefree feeling flowing, while a friendly and courteous waitstaff attends to your requests.

On our last visit to Babalu, we weren’t quite sure what to select from their extensive array of available options. It all sounded so delicious. The interior was relaxing, the seats were comfortable, and the cuisine being served around us to other patrons appeared colorful and smelled amazing.

After perusing the menu for longer than we probably should have, we decided on a couple of entrees for lunch…

Turkey Burger

My husband selected the Turkey Burger, which was a blend of lightly spiced ground white turkey and bell pepper topped with fresh slices of avocado, grilled zucchini and fried leeks on a sesame Kaiser roll and slaw on the side. A choice of fries or a salad accompanied that, and it was all for just $11. This was a tender, expertly prepared and juicy turkey burger. One of the best we’ve tasted in a while. The sesame Kaiser roll used as a bun was soft and tasty and the slaw was crunchy and sweet with crisp, hot fries alongside.

Babalu Tacos With Roasted Vegetables

I chose the Babalu Tacos to enjoy. This dish comes with two soft shell flour tortillas stuffed with fresh avocado, Pico De Gallo, cheddar and jalapeno jack cheeses and crunchy lettuce and Napa cabbage. Black beans and a sensational pineapple-coconut rice is served on the side. I decided on the roasted vegetables to accompany my tacos for $11, however, you can instead add tender sliced chicken for $12, fish (Mahi Mahi) for $14 or grilled shrimp for $15.

Both choices were savory, enjoyable and we both agreed that we would order them again and recommend them to others. A terrific spot along charming Montana Avenue among an array of shops and eateries. Sometimes it can get confusing knowing where to go. Most times, it’s a good idea to eat where the locals do. Babalu falls into that category, because this is certainly a locals favorite!

Oh, and don’t forget that Babalu was selected as one of AOL’s ‘Top Ten of the City’s Best Desserts’! So don’t be shy to try a slice of one of the sumptuous sweet temptations before you leave. Or just order an entire creation to take home or give as a much-appreciated gift!

  • ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Fun Caribbean and Cuban feel with an island ambiance!
  • FOOD / DRINK: Fresh vegetables, ambrosial cuisine options and refreshing presentations.
  • LOCATION: Babalu is located at 1002 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, CA 90403.
  • HOURS: Open for breakfast from 8 AM – 11:30 AM Saturdays and Sundays, brunch from 11:30 AM – 5 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, lunch from 11 AM – 5 M Monday through Fridays then for dinner 5 PM – 10 PM on Sundays through Thursdays and again from 5 PM – 11 PM for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, there are many options of times during the day in which you can enjoy Babalu’s fine offerings. (Closing hours sometimes vary, so just call ahead is you’re planning a late bite!)
  • SERVICE / STAFF: We encountered friendly efficient service and witnessed the same being offered to customers around us.
  • PRICE / VALUE: $11 for each of our entrees at lunch? For the quality of the food provided and the casual, yet Caribbean ambiance, we were not at all disappointed.
  • CORKAGE FEE:$15 per 750ml bottle.
  • PARKING: Metered street parking is available along Montana Avenue as well as nearby side streets.
  • TOTAL BILL: Our final bill came in just over $30 for a couple of drinks, the Turkey burger and the Babalu Tacos with roasted vegetables.

Babalu on Urbanspoon

Babalu  Restaurant Reviews

* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.

42 thoughts on “BABALU BAKERY & RESTAURANT… “A Montana Avenue Locals’ Favorite!”

    • Thanks for linking us to your site, Jennifer! We’re excited that your company will be helping us spread the word about! We appreciate you being a follower!

  1. Hello there! I found your blog via Google while searching for a similar topic. Your web site came up and it appears first-rate! I’ve bookmarked it in my Google bookmarks!

    • Thanks for bookmarking us, Evelyn! We’re happy to have you as one of our valued readers! We thank you for your support and we look forward to sharing many more upcoming posts with you!

  2. I never thought I would agree with this opinion, but I’m starting to see things differently after reading your article. Thanks for your insight!

    • Thanks for your honest opinion, Moa! We thank you for letting us know that we have provided you with the information information you were needing. Babalu is a fun, casual and lighthearted restaurant run exceptionally well with a friendly staff and delicious fare. Thanks for your comment. And thanks for being a reader!

    • Thanks for that, Shelly! We thank you for your support, and we appreciate you being a follower of our food, wine & travel blog! Welcome to!

    • Thanks, Sophie! Babalu is a great place foe a relaxed and delicious bite. We recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. Thanks for your comment, and thanks for following our food, wine & travel blog at!

    • Hello, Claudia! Have you visited Babaly in Santa Monica yet? We really enjoyed the cuisine there. And the ambiance was casual and relaxed, while the food preparation and presentation was amazing! Let us know of your experience if you’ve been there. If you haven’t thus far, we suggest it highly. A terrific spot for a late lingering lunch along the relaxed area of Montana Avenue. Thanks for your comment…an thanks for being a reader!

  3. I have a tendancy to not comment on blogs that I read. However, I just adore your blog and I was inspired to send in my comments. May I say that I love what you are doing. Please, keep up the terrific work for your readers!

    • That’s terrific to hear from you, Laverne! We’re so happy that you commented on our blog! Thanks for your kind comment about how pleased you are with our articles. We’re so happy about that! Thanks for being a fan!

    • Hi, Claude! We are grateful for your sincere words and generous feedback. Thanks for taking the time to send us your thoughts and also for following what we do at!

    • Well, we certainly appreciate you feeling that way, Clara! And we certainly appreciate you being a reader! Thanks for your support!

    • Hi, Chris! Thanks for your terrific cupport of what we’re doing at We are grateful for your support and appreciate you being one of our valued fans!

  4. Hi there! Just discovered your site while I was browsing and I must say that I found it quite interesting! I hope you don’t mind if I return here from time to time and check out your content. It’s a great resource. Thank you!

    • Nice to have you as part of the community, Walt! Thanks for your feedback. We appreciate you taking the time to write in to us!

  5. I can only imagine how much research you did for this great article. I’m impressed by how you have made it so easy to understand.

    • Thanks for that, Wallace! We appreciate you noticing the work that goes into what we do at! Thanks for your support. And thanks for being a reader!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>