R+D Kitchen (310-395-3314) is part of the Hillstone restaurant group that includes Bandera, Gulfstream, and Houston's among others. Recently opened at 1323 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, R+D took over an address that was something of a black hole. Montana Lounge and Yu Restaurant had failed. Even a successful entrenpeneur like Wolfgang Puck couldn't make the space work for him. With the Aero theater directly across the street, this should be a good location.
Running along the street side of the restaurant is a window space that in warm weather is covered by almost invisible screen. The effect is complete openness.
An extensive menu offers salads, rice bowls, sandwiches (hot and cold), sushi, and desserts. As befits a restaurant that has "fusion" embedded in its corporate identity, Cole slaw comfortably shares space in the deli display with whole-grain brown rice inari sushi.
Since Michelle has recently embraced a whole grain, sugar-free, largely vegetarian diet, M Café is a dream-spot for her. With the original M Café at 7119 Melrose, she can enjoy her new diet on the West Side and in town as well.