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Jonathan Gold Slams New Santa Monica Place Dining Deck

10/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The top-level Dining Deck of the new Santa Monica Place mall seems almost custom-designed to make native Angelenos grumpy. The redesign scooped out all that was pleasant about the old mall, one of Frank Gehry's breakthrough projects, with all the subtlety of a melon baller cutting through a cantaloupe, and replaced it with a high-gloss sheen that would be as at home in Columbus or San Jose as it is two blocks from the sea. The Mexican restaurant was subcontracted to a chef from New York; the pizzeria from a second-tier Bay Area chain; the Japanese place and the wine bar -- nice view! -- from another middling San Francisco restaurateur.

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