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Santa Monica - On/Near the beach Cocktails

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Looking for a place on the beach in Santa Monica to partake in drinks and appetizers Friday afternoon. Thus far, the only recommendations my colleagues are able to furnish are Casa Del Mar and The Lobster.

We are looking more for ambience and great drinks.....with food coming in 3rd.

Any and all recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. The Lowe's Hotel should offer a great view. Don't know about the quality of their appetizers.

    1. Fondue by any of the firepits is wonderful. Most of the rest of the appetizers are also great.

      1. If you like vodka, Voda (not sure if it's open in the afternoon though). If you want a good mint julep or Daiquiri or Ramos Fizz, Ivy at the Shore. Probably the best view is from the restaurant at the top of the Huntley on 2d Street.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mc michael

          Toppers at the Huntley is closed, they are re-opening after Labor Day. The view there really is one of the best in town.

        2. Ma'Kai! Very relaxing patio.....the food is a bunch of odd SEMI-hawaiian-themed bar food type things..I think...inexpensive bar menu and the food isn't HORRIBLE (but it is bar food)..sliders, fried avocado, things like that. Great bar menu for nice mixed drinks......chill polynesian/hawaiian vibe.

          their website is screwy on my computer.....who knows...


          Broadway and Ocean in SM....

          1. Nothing wrong with Casa del Mar (or Shutters for that matter, which is across the street). Ambience nice in both places. Views are great.

            1. Man, you'd think I have ownership in Shutters by now. But, Shutters, you really can't ask for a better setting for Drinks and Apps, and dessert.

              I'm assuming you'll be sitting outside on the patio, or in the lobby lounge. Both are lovely. Outside you have the ocean views, and inside you're sunk in down sofas.

              Cocktails come from the One Pico bartender, who is very competent and creative. They also have a few wines by the glass. Their bar menu is limited-- cheese and crackers, quesadillas, salads. But, to be honest, I always order from the One Pico menu and eat in the lobby lounge. If you have room for dessert and coffee, try the creme brulee and/or the vanilla pudding. I'm fixing to get some myself, tomorrow, actually.

              Late in the afternoon, the lounge pianist and string bassist play some soothing jazz for your enjoyment. Feel free to waste away on the sofa. You're paying a premium for those drinks gosh darn it!

              My other regular spot is the Ivy on Ocean. I hate the food, and it's incredibly expensive for what you get. $15 for a cocktail, my goodness! Every time I leave there I tell myself I'll never return, and yet I'm back time and time again. There's something magical about the Ivy that people enjoy. I don't get it, though. On a good day, their crab cakes are great ($30 for 3). But, hopefully, you'll be drunk from the Ivy Gimlets to care how much you've spent. See Robert at the bar. He puts on a good show, at least.

              1. thanks everyone! looks like we will initially head to shutters and if all else fails, walk across the street to casa del mar. if casa del mar doesn't work out, well, we have quite a few more choices thanks to you fellow hounders!