June 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Ox & Son In Santa Monica Inspired By Midwest Roots

Ox & Son is heavily influenced by executive chef Brad Miller’s upbringing in Ottawa, Illinois.
Ox & Son is heavily influenced by executive chef Brad Miller’s upbringing in Ottawa, Illinois.

The debut of modern American restaurant Ox & Son last month introduced new flavors and unique dishes to neighborhood locals and Westside visitors. As the newest restaurant on the restaurant-centric Montana Ave., Ox & Son is the result of the desire to create an eatery that served high-class fare within a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Located in the place of the former Cafe Montana, Ox & Son takes full advantage of its Southern California location and utilizes local farmers markets to obtain optimal seasonal ingredients.

“The cuisine I make is very L.A.,” executive chef Brad Miller said. “All of the ingredients and products we use are locally sourced, and my recipes are influenced by the vast culture we have here in L.A.”

With Miller as the mastermind of both the menu and the overall restaurant concept, Ox & Son was heavily influenced by Miller’s upbringing.

“We started with the idea of making a restaurant that would have high quality technique, elevated food/beverage, but in a casual fun atmosphere,” Miller explained. “The name and general vibe was inspired by where I grew up in the Midwest: I named the restaurant after my father, Gary ‘Ox’ Miller, a butcher from Ottawa, Illinois. We want this restaurant concept to have neighborhood, family-oriented feel and a welcoming atmosphere.”

The steak is a popular menu item at Ox & Son.
The steak is a popular menu item at Ox & Son.

Chef Miller aims to give American comfort classics inventive, modernized spins: according to the chef, Ox & Son is the fusion of Los Angeles’ fresh produce, the SoCal restaurant scene, and a butcher’s son from the Midwest.

“My creative process is inspired by eating at local, authentic restaurants throughout L.A.,” Miller said. “For example, just the other day I was eating Red Roast Pork in Koreatown, and it influenced a dish I’ve been tweaking over the past week.”

Miller pays close attention to his clientele and the likability of his dishes, catering to the desires of his guests.

“It’s important to me that I come up with new ideas and techniques each season,” Miller said. “I rarely repeat the same dish that I did the year before, and if I do, it’s because people are looking forward to that dish at that time of year.”

According to general manager Brandon Bernstein, “the amazing food” is one of his favorite parts about working as a staff member at the restaurant.

“The Chicken Fried Duck Confit and the Sticky Pig Cheeks are my personal favorites and also two of our highest sellers,” Bernstein said. “As if duck confit wasn’t already amazing, this incredibly talented Chef that I get to work with has taken it a step further and fried it in a similar manner to fried chicken and then plated it over a bed of Napa cabbage slaw.”

Bernstein said that the Uni & Eggs were also a popular dish so far, as the menu item boasts “great quality of uni” and “unsurprisingly sells like crazy.”

Ox & Son also offers a separate veggie and gluten-free menu for those with special dietary needs in order to provide even more convenience for its guests. An extensive wine and beer menu is available as well, which features sparkling, white, rose, and red wine as well as draft beers and bottled beers.

Even more prominent than the creative fare, however, is the basis on which the restaurant was founded on: the close-knit atmosphere.

According to Miller, the dining experience should be “all about enjoying who you’re there to eat with” in addition to the food itself.

“Everybody we work with here is very family-oriented,” Bernstein said. “It’s so nice coming into work knowing that we all have each other’s backs and that everybody works just as hard as the next person. To me, the family environment that we created here really stands out to be the true testament of this restaurant.”

Ox & Son is located at 1534 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. For more information, call  310.829.3990 or visit  oxandson.com.

in Dining
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