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Fun, Not Too Crazily Hip Places to Get Good Food in S.M or WLA area

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I am going to dinner with two girl friends on Friday night, which is a semi regular ritual. We are in our mid 30's to mid 40's, not looking for mates (at least while sober), love good food and good wine as well as a place where we can linger and be occasionally a bit too loud without disturbing the peace. We also don't want a TOO crazy scene. A little scene is fine.

I was thinking JiRaffe in Santa Monica, but then wondered about the place next door, which has changed so many times I can't remember what it is now -- Whist, perhaps?

Places we have enjoyed previously include Ca'Brea, Violet (though we did get a shushing from an adjacent table), World Cafe and La Vecchia. Less successful choices have been Bizou Cafe in the Water Garden (too staid), and a sushi place on S.M. Boulevard (bleh fish and atmosphere), may have been U-Zen Sushi?

Any and all suggestions (no sushi this time though) would be welcome.

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  1. Jiraffe's wonderful. For a little loud in a happy way, Monsoon on Third Street Promenade near Wilshire is great. (Jiraffe's food is better I think but Monsoon is nice and fantastic atmosphere, better for the occasional loudness. The drinks are also quite good - I like their vodka infusions.) The steakhouse on the corner of Wilshire and 2nd in Santa Monica (around the corner from Monsoon) has a good atmosphere as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cinnamon

      Do you mean Houston's, or is there another steakhouse there (or am I thinking of the wrong corner)?

      1. re: Pei

        Houston's. And there's P.F. Chang's at Fourth and Wilshire. I think Monsoon is easily most fun of the bunch. If you want good fresh sushi in a laid back atmosphere there's always Taka-sushi on 2nd a block or so south from Wilshire.

    2. terried sake house on santa monica in west l.a. is very very very fun.

      1. Don't know if Bandera is what you have in mind. Nook might not be hip enough, as is the same for Pizzicotto, which I really like. Also, what about Palomino in Westwood?

        1. No, Whist is across the street from Capo, on Ocean Ave. Both are good options though - Whist is definitely more sceney, and Capo smaller and more quiet. Still, great food at both.

          You might also want to consider The Lobster, ICugini, and yes, Jiraffe (although it might not be loud enough to be fun?).

          I think you might like Vincenti and Pecorino, too. Perhaps Drago and Melisse? Or, Josie or Orris?

          1. Library Alehouse (back area) on Main St. Santa Monica/ Venice area. Fun with good food, but it might be hard to find a seat.

            San Francisco Saloon in West Los Angeles on Pico and sawtelle, I think. Cheap drinks and a very good, very solid bar menu. Particularly the burgers, but lots of other sandwiches, apps and entrees. Good room, wood tables, lots of TVs with the games on. Pretty good selection of beers on tap.